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Each year thousands of pets go missing and don't make it back home. Collars can break or ID tags may become damaged and unreadable, so these forms of identification may not be enough to ensure your pet's safe return. A microchip is a safe and reliable form of identification that cannot be lost or stolen.
A microchip is about the size and shape of a grain of rice and is placed underneath your pet's skin between the shoulder blades. Microchip implantation takes only a few minutes and is very safe. Each microchip is unique and carries vital information about your pet—including your name, address, and contact information. When a microchip is implanted, the pet owner is given a registration form to complete. Registering the number on the microchip includes your pet in a national pet recovery database. Veterinary hospitals, animal shelters, and animal control offices across the country are equipped with special electronic scanners that can detect the microchip and read the identification number. If a lost pet is picked up by animal control or found by a good Samaritan and presented to a veterinarian, a quick scan of the microchip reveals the identification number. A toll-free phone call to the pet recovery database alerts the microchip company that a lost pet has been identified. The pet owner can then be contacted and reunited with his or her pet!
A 2009 JAVMA (Journal of the American Medical Assocication) study showed that microchipped dogs are returned to their owners more frequently than those that are not chipped (52.2% and 21.9% respectively). Cats have an even better chance at being reunited - 38.5% of microchipped cats are returned home, but only 1.8% of un-microchipped cats make it back to their families.