Old Stone Fort Mobile Veterinary Services

Microchipping


If your pet were lost or stolen, what would you do?  I have witnessed many times the grief that has overwhelmed my clients when they discovered they could not find their beloved pet who would never come home again.

It almost happened to 73-year-old Jim Arrighi of Erin, Tennessee. On July 28, 2011, his beloved Jack Russell Terrier, Petey, wandered away from his yard. Members of the family hunted and hunted everywhere, had pictures of Petey put in the paper, put posters up everywhere, and rode around on four wheelers in the area just in case the beloved dog had been hit by a car or attacked by a wild animal.

But, it was to no avail, at least in the first months of Petey’s disappearance. In the meantime, Mr. Arrighi wife of 37 years, Juanita, age 77, passed away on Oct. 12, 2011. Mr. Arrighi has lost two, beloved members of his family in just three months…..

Until one day in October when Mr. Arrighi received an unexpected telephone call that changed his life again, “This is the MHS Rochester Hills Center for Animal Care in Rochester Hills, Michigan,” the voice at the other end of the phone said. “We have Petey!” [i]

Mr. Arrighi was reunited with Petey a few days later, a reunion made even more poignant because Mr. Petey had been grieving the loss of this wife.

Mr. Petey believes his late wife helped Petey return home. In one way, she did. Petey came home because Mr. Arrighi and his wife had the foresight to have Petey micro-chipped just a few years before.  

Microchipping is a quick, painless procedure that can be done in the comfort of your own home. The microchip itself is a small, round integrated circuit about the size of a grain of rice. The microchip carries it own, unique identification number. Because the microchip is inserted between the animal’s shoulder blades by the veterinarian, the insertion procedure is virtually painless for the animal. And, the animal does not feel the microchip during the years he or she is “wearing” it.

Because the microchip carries its own identification number that is unique to only that animal, it can often be used for legal purposes. I was honored to recently work with one of my clients and her attorney to see that all 25 of my client’s cats (who are my patients) were micro-chipped for purposes of identification under my client’s new pet trust. The pet trust document states that at my client’s death, all of her cats, “who are identifiable by implanted microchip devices,” will be taken care of by the pet trust until their deaths.

Microchips can be implanted in just about any mammal—dogs, cats, parrots, horses, and others. For this reason, many people with expensive pets or livestock have each of their animals micro-chipped.

Special scanners can be scanned over the animal’s back to instantly find the microchip. Many animal shelters, including many in our area, are strictly required by their policies to scan an animal’s back for a microchip both (1) when the animal first enters the facility and (2) again before the animal is euthanized. This requirement has both quickly reunited many animals with their owners and also stopped micro-chipped animals from being euthanized.  

I regularly implant microchips in my patients at the request of their owners. I use the PetLink microchip. One thing I like about PetLink is that it gives each of my clients who have their pet micro-chipped a free, password-protected webpage where the client can record information about his or her pet plus upload a picture. Then if the pet is ever lost or stolen, the owner can go into that webpage, print out flyers from information provided on that webpage, and begin immediately to hand out flyers and advertise for the pet’s return.

Microchipping is a relative inexpensive procedure, especially compared to the peace-of-mind it gives pet owners. I hope you will talk with me about microchipping your pet or livestock today.

 

 



Kimberly A. Hambrick, D.V.M.

Old Stone Fort Mobile Veterinary Services
Phone: 931-954-0487
Serving southern Middle Tennessee


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