KENILWORTH, N.J., (May 1, 2006) A new national survey conducted by Harris Interactive® and released by HomeAgain® Pet Recovery Service reveals that more than four in five (85%) dog and cat owners would consider losing their pet to be extremely or very traumatic, and comparatively, more than three in five consider a pet loss more traumatic than everyday events such as getting in a car accident (79%), breaking a bone (63%), or losing a job (61%). Yet surprisingly, just 14 percent of dog and cat owners have microchipped their pets to help ensure their recovery if the dog or cat is lost or missing.
Microchipping is a safe, simple and permanent form of pet identification that provides pet owners and their pets with one of the best chances of being reunited. According to the survey, only one-third (34%) of dog or cat owners are extremely or very familiar with the process of microchipping. However, of those pet owners who have had their dog or cat microchipped, nearly nine in ten (86 percent) now feel more secure about their dog or cats’ safety.
“Many pet owners believe that traditional collar tags are an easy and inexpensive way to identify pets. But pet owners fail to recognize that collar tags can fall off or be removed,” said Marty Becker, DVM. “A microchip provides a permanent form of identification with a unique number that cannot be altered.”
To raise awareness about microchipping, HomeAgain® Pet Recovery Service is launching HomeAgain® Chip Your Pet Month in May. This national campaign is aimed at educating pet owners about microchipping, which is an advanced pet identification and retrieval system.
Pet owners are encouraged to speak with their veterinarian about microchipping. Microchip scanners are currently in use by shelters and veterinary clinics across the United States, increasing the chances of being reunited with a lost pet no matter where he or she is found.
In the wake of last year’s hurricane season, 45 percent of the dog or cat owners surveyed said that they are now extremely or very concerned for the safety of their dog or cat; however, only 28 percent took action. Of those who took action to make their dog or cat safer, 16 percent chose to microchip their pet.
“Microchipping is a simple procedure that is done without anesthesia and produces no more discomfort than a routine vaccination. The microchip is about the size of a grain of rice and is easily injected by a veterinarian into the shoulder blades of your pet,” said Becker.
Gina King of Soledad, California, knows the value of microchips firsthand. “My Shih Tzu, Radar, ran out the front door as my children were leaving for school. I spent months placing ads on every pole and mailbox in town and repeatedly contacting and visiting all of the local shelters in the area,” said King. “I had just about given up hope of ever finding Radar, when about a year and a half after he was lost I received a phone call from HomeAgain® telling me that my pet had been found on a highway off-ramp about 25 miles away. Radar had been brought to a local veterinary clinic where they were able to scan his HomeAgain® microchip, allowing the clinic to retrieve my contact information and return him home, safe and sound. Needless to say, this experience has made me a true believer and I recommend all pet owners get their pets microchipped.”
Approximately 7,000 lost pets that are microchipped and registered with the HomeAgain® Pet Recovery Service are reunited with their owners in the United States every month. For more information about HomeAgain® Pet Recovery Service, visit www.homeagainid.com or call 1-800-521-5767.
Harris Interactive® conducted the online survey on behalf of Schering-Plough Animal Health within the United States between March 7 and April 14, 2006 among a nationwide cross section of 509 dog or cat owners (aged 18+), 254 of whom own a dog, and 255 of whom own a cat. Figures for age, sex, race, education, income and region were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions of dog and cat owners in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.
Though this online sample is not a probability sample, in theory, with probability samples of this size, Harris Interactive estimates with 95 percent certainty that the results have a sampling error of plus or minus 4.3 percentage points of what they would be if the entire population of U.S. adult dog or cat owners had been polled with complete accuracy. Sampling error for the various sub-samples is higher and varies.
About Harris Interactive®
Harris Interactive Inc. (www.harrisinteractive.com), based in Rochester, New York, is the 13th largest and the fastest-growing market research firm in the world, most widely known for The Harris Poll® and for its pioneering leadership in the online market research industry. Long recognized by its clients for delivering insights that enable confident business decisions, the Company blends the science of innovative research with the art of strategic consulting to deliver knowledge that leads to measurable and enduring value.
Harris Interactive serves clients worldwide through its United States, Europe (www.harrisinteractive.com/europe) and Asia offices, its wholly-owned subsidiary Novatris in Paris, France (www.novatris.com), and through an independent global network of affiliate market research companies. EOE M/F/D/V
About Schering-Plough Corporation
Schering-Plough Animal Health is the global animal health care business of Schering-Plough Corporation, (NYSE: SGP) a global science-based health care company with leading prescription, consumer and animal health products. Through internal research and collaborations with partners, Schering-Plough discovers, develops, manufactures and markets advanced drug therapies to meet important medical needs. Schering-Plough’s vision is to earn the trust of the physicians, patients and customers served by its more than 32,000 people around the world. The company is based in Kenilworth, N.J., and its Web site is www.schering-plough.com.
SCHERING-PLOUGH DISCLOSURE NOTICE: The information in this press release includes certain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements relating to the HomeAgain® brand and the potential market for HomeAgain® products. Forward-looking statements relate to expectations or forecasts of future events. Schering-Plough does not assume the obligation to update any forward-looking statement. Many factors could cause actual results to differ materially from Schering-Plough’s forward-looking statements, including market forces, economic factors, product availability, patent and other intellectual property protection, current and future branded, generic or over-the-counter competition, the regulatory process, and any developments following regulatory approval, among other uncertainties. For further details about these and other factors that may impact the forward-looking statements, see Schering-Plough’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings, including Item 1A. Risk Factors in the Company’s 2005 10-K.
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