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Every two seconds, a pet is lost somewhere in the United States.

Shelters report the

biggest barrier to a pet and family reunion is a

lack of current information. Identification can help bring him home again.

Use both a tag and microchip. Keep contact information up to date.

When traveling,

program a GPS tag with a cell phone number— it’s faster than calling home for messages.


Pet Locator Resources

American Kennel Club Companion Animal Recovery 800-252-7894

American Veterinary ID Devices 800-336-2843

Home Again 888-466-3242 Tagg


32 Hudson County

t’s easy for a dog or cat to slip out an unlatched door, open gate or even a window. Three million lost pets are picked up by animal control agencies each year, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). The National Council on Pet Population Study & Policy estimates fewer than 2 percent of wayward cats and only 15 to 20 per- cent of wandering dogs find their way home again. Most of those that make it back have been identified and reunited through tags, tattoos or microchips. About the size of a grain of rice (12 millimeters), a microchip is injected under the skin into the shoulder area of a dog or cat as a form of permanent identification. The chip itself has no internal energy source, so it will never wear out or run down.

Microchips work on a radio frequency identification system (RFIS) that operates on two main frequen- cies—125 kilohertz (in this country) or 134.2 kilohertz (internationally). A handheld scanner powers a low radio frequency readout of the chip’s unique identification number and transmits it to the scanner’s display window, much like a retail bar code.

Shelters, veterinarians and animal control staff routinely use scanners to check for identification chips in unclaimed pets. If detected, the dis- played code can then be traced to the pet’s family.

Doggy Lost…

and Found Again Microchips Provide Peace of Mind by Avery Mack

Microchip Myth Busters

False: Microchipping is common. True: The Humane Society of America estimates that fewer than 5 percent of pets have a microchip.

False: The chip will move after it’s been injected. True: Technology has improved. For example, one microchip manufacturer has developed a patented anti-migra- tion feature that ensures their micro- chips stay put.

“The chip very rarely migrates under the skin,” says Dr. Amber Andersen, a Los Angeles veterinarian. “Every pet should have a microchip.”

False: Microchips pose a health risk. True: “There have been no reported cases of tumors at injection sites.” There’s no reaction at all in the tissue around the chip,” reports Dr. Jeff Bryan, a veterinary oncologist at the University of Missouri’s Medical Veter- inary Teaching Hospital, in Columbia.

False: The shelter won’t have a scanner. True: More than 50,000 veterinarians and shelters use scanners. Microchip providers also frequently donate scan- ners to shelters and rescue groups.

False: Implanting a microchip is painful. True: Pets do not have to be sedated to be chipped. Although a larger needle is used than for shots, it won’t be any more painful for the pet than a vac- cination.

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