April 18 – 24th is National Pet ID Week &
May is Chip Your Pet Month!
Dr. Frank J Komin DVM
Tehachapi Veterinary Hospital
One million one hundred seventy six thousand, five hundred and ninety seven….. that’s the number of pets who have been reunited with their human families because they were microchipped. Considering that getting “lost” is the number one cause of death in pets, one wonders how many of these 1,176,597 dogs and cats would never have seen their people again, how many would have been turned into shelters to meet an uncertain end, and how many people would never know what happened to their pets if not for an innocuous little object the size of a grain of rice?
April 18 – 24th is National Pet ID Week, and May is Chip Your Pet Month, so we are trying to get the word out about getting our local dogs and cats permanently identified, so they can be easily reunited with you if you get separated. Considering that one in three pets get lost during their lifetime – in fact 10 million pets get lost every year and without identification and 90% of them never get back home, getting your pet permanently identified could easily save his or her life.
All pets should wear a collar with a tag imprinted with your name and phone number, and we encourage our clients to put our hospital name and number on the reverse. We have been able to return many lost pets that have been brought into our hospital in this way. The problem with tags is they can become illegible over time, and even fall off. Another traditional way to identify dogs is with tattooing. However, tattoos can become difficult to read and can be altered, rendering them ineffective. A microchip is the only form of pet identification that is permanent, with a unique number that can not be altered or removed.
A microchip is implanted under the skin – a procedure that is very quick, about the same difficulty as vaccinating a pet. There is no battery or moving parts, so there is nothing to wear out or replace. When a lost pet is brought into a veterinary hospital or shelter, the pet is scanned, and his or her unique number is picked up by the scanner. That number is called into the company that makes the microchip (we are using Home Again chips), and the owner is then contacted with the location of their pet, and another happy reunion takes place.
Home Again offers a variety of services along with the microchip itself, including helping to defray costs (including airfare) to get your pet home again, 24/7 staffed hotline to report a missing or lost pet, and Lost Pet Alerts are sent out in your area if your pet is reported missing.
In order to encourage getting pets implanted with microchips, we are offering a 10% discount on microchip implantation from 4/18/13 until 5/31/13. No appointment is needed, and the procedure is quick and easy – call us if you have any questions at 822-6731.
Another, newer identification system that we have available is an innovative GPS tracking device that attaches to your pet’s collar. This device allows you to track (on your mobile device or computer) your pet’s activity (including monitoring exercise), and will send you texts and email alerts when your pet gets out. If your pet does get lost, it will pinpoint your pet’s exact location on a map. Come by for a brochure or call us regarding this revolutionary tracking technology.
From all of us at Tehachapi Veterinary Hospital and Tehachapi Pet Lodge & Outfitters, Have a great National Pet ID Week, and a very special Chip Your Pet Month!