Thursday, October 28th, 2021

P Shopper Columns


No one expects their pets to become lost or stolen, yet animals go missing every day. If all pets had some form of ID, the reunion statistics for lost animals would be vastly different. Collars with tags are great- microchips are even better. A microchip is not a tracking device; rather, think of an ID tag that cannot be lost, damaged, or removed. A microchip is the size of a grain of rice and is implanted under the skin. The procedure does not require anesthesia and causes no more discomfort than a vaccination. The chip has a number that can be programmed with an owner's name, address, and telephone number. However, the microchip must be registered by the owner after it is implanted; without your information, the microchip is useless.

As Thanksgiving approaches
to remind us of our blessings,
let us not forget
our four- (and sometimes three-) legged
family members.

Cats and dogs can cover great distances very quickly. Looking for a lost pet isn't simply a matter of monitoring one's local shelter, but of watching the shelters of surrounding areas as well. There is also the possibility that a Good Samaritan could take in a lost animal, do their best to find the owner, and even have the animal scanned for a chip- only to find it doesn't have one. This makes the reunion process that much more difficult and unlikely. Even if you take every precaution to keep your pets safe, it only takes one second for a leash to break, a pet to dart out the door, or a dog to slip its collar. Getting a microchip is an inexpensive and easy way to have the peace of mind that, if your companion is taken to a shelter or veterinary hospital, that facility can find you. It also serves as proof of ownership in the event of a dispute.

I work at an animal shelter- stray animals come in almost every day. Again and again, I think, "If only every dog had a microchip.' As Thanksgiving approaches to remind us of our blessings, let us not forget our four- (and sometimes three-) legged family members. There are few things I treasure more in life than my animals; I know so many people share this love for their own pets. No animal deserves to be separated from their family, but when that happens, there are good people who will do their best to bring that animal home. Ensure you've done all you can to make that possible. Let us protect our companions to the best of our abilities; ask your veterinarian about microchipping your pets.

Breonna Loxley is an animal care technician at an animal shelter. She is an avid artist, writer, and animal-lover. She lives with her parents, a younger brother, two cats, and one dog.