SCHAUMBURG, Ill., Aug. 14, 2016 – Statistics show that one in three pets will become lost at some point during their lives…but cats and dogs with registered microchips are much more likely to enjoy a happy ending with their loving families.
National Check the Chip Day, observed annually on August 15, reminds pet owners to check and update the microchip registration information on their furry family members.
“Microchips are very effective for identifying lost pets and reuniting them with their owners,” said Dr. Thomas Meyer, President of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). “But microchip registration needs to be done, and done correctly.”
Owners should contact their veterinarian for registration information or can go to www.petmicrochiplookup.org and access the Universal Pet Microchip Lookup Tool provided by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). The tool allows users to enter a microchip code and directs them to participating microchip registries associated with that microchip’s number and manufacturer. All registries should be updated as needed.
In 2013, the AVMA teamed up with the AAHA to encourage pet owners to update microchip registration or to microchip and register their pets if they are not already microchipped. This year, the AVMA has provided veterinarians with a Check the Chip Day Toolkit, which includes resources and ideas they may use to help educate their clients about the importance of microchips and keeping its associated data up-to-date.
Education has proven vital for the 10 million dogs and cats that are lost or stolen in the United States every year. In a study published by the Journal of the AVMA, research revealed that only 22 percent of lost dogs entering shelters were returned to their families. That percentage rose to more than 52 percent when a dog was microchipped.
Even better results were attained in the feline population. One in 50 cats in animal shelters was returned to their owners, but when microchipped nearly two out of five cats were reunited with their families, the study stated.
“Any veterinarian will implant a pet microchip. The procedure is simple and does not need anesthetic,” Meyer said. “When the chip is scanned, embedded codes are used to retrieve the contact information of the pet owners. If the pet is lost, a reunion will follow—if the contact information is current.”
The AVMA, founded in 1863, is one of the oldest and largest veterinary medical organizations in the world, with more than 88,000 member veterinarians worldwide engaged in a wide variety of professional activities and dedicated to the art and science of veterinary medicine.