May 072013

Should we microchip our dogs? My unequivocal answer is yes!

Yesterday, I was in the small town near where I live and a little Wheaten Terrier ran up to me and begged for some attention. No collar, no tags and obviously someone’s pet although she needed a good grooming. She was as thirsty as could be…hmmmm…I wondered who owned her and let her run lose to be hit by a car.

After asking around with folks I knew nearby and getting no information, I packed her up into the kennel in my van (and her willingly) and took her to our Animal Control office. When she was scanned, she did have a microchip! Hooray!

Now the bad news. When I called to check on her today, she was still there because the phone number listed on her Home Again chip was an answering machine and no one had called back. The question, where had the system failed because the chip identified the dog’s owners.

1–Was the owner on vacation or in the hospital and a neighbor or family member let her out to roam?

2-Did the family fail to update their phone number at the Home Again website when they moved?

3-Or, did the owners, just not care about her??  Unlikely, because she was a chubby missus.

It could be any of the three answers or others, but the chip did at least give an owner’s phone number and name so it served its purpose. The fault was on the owner’s side, no doubt.

Luckily, our Animal Control is a no-kill shelter, has a universal chip reader, and even enters screened dogs into the training program at Kentucky State Penitentiary.  If no one claims her within the week, I’ll bet she is inducted into the program before being rehomed. Even though a sad ending in some ways, it could have been much worse.

Back to microchipping, suppose the little lost terrier was your dog and someone like me picked her up and dropped her at a vet or Animal Control.  Assuming you had done your part to keep your information up to date on the directory, she would be back in her own little bed and chewing on her Nylabone by now.  (Note:  the directory for all the major microchip companies is free and the “additional charge” is for extras)

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 Posted by at 8:52 pm