Why Microchip Your Pets?


Animals shelter officials housing lost pets that had been implanted with a microchip were able to find the owners in almost three out of four (73%) cases in a recently published national study. Without microchips these return rates are approximately 2-3% for cats and 20-22% for dogs. This is a tremendous difference and is the main reason to microchip all companion animals.

The reason 27% were not returned was almost entirely due to owners not updating the national databases where their pet was registered. A small but significant percent were missed because the shelter did not have a universal microchip reader. There are three different frequencies used by the multiple microchip manufacturers. Each manufacturer donates readers that typically read only their microchips. Very few readers are universal. Registration of these microchips has become big business as most charge for the registration and many have annual fees to allow owners to make changes at any time. Sometimes the pet was registered in a database that the shelter did not check or know about.

The Critters Club has purchased a top line universal microchip reader. We invited dog owners we knew to meet at our dog park and see if we could read their microchips. Eighteen or twenty dog owners took us up on this and we read all the microchips successfully. This small study did include all 3 types of pet microchips. Thus we have great confidence in our ability to read any microchip out there. This eliminates the reading problems.

The fact that multiple databases exist is a national not local problem. We maintain our own Quail Creek database and thus identification does not depend on databases that may or may not be updated by owners as needed. This also means we can identify a pet quickly and without internet access any time of the day or night.

One pet owner knew their dog had a microchip, but it was implanted by a previous owner in Europe and they had no idea what the chip ID number was. We read it easily and that allowed the owner to check multiple registration sites and update their information once they located that ChipID. That chipID number is now in our database associated with that dog and that owner. The dog is registered in Quail Creek immediately and it does not depend on the owner updating whatever database it is associated with.

Before we owned our own reader, pets had to be taken to a vet or shelter to be read. That is pretty traumatic for the pet as well as the pet parent. I am not even sure all our local pet service providers have universal microchip readers at their facility, but I know the Critters Club does.

Critters Club Board