Witnessed: Benefits of Animal Microchip Implant

Pet microchip and needle

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By Elisa Black-Taylor

Yesterday, on my way to work, I witnessed the benefits of micro-chipping. This isn’t a cat story and I’m not the one with the micro-chipped animal who’s the “star” of this story, but I wanted to share it.

I have a lot of errands to do on my way to work most days. Yesterday those included stopping at my vet to pay off last week’s bill. I had handed the ladies who run the clinic my money and was just chatting while I waited for yet another torrential rain shower to pass over before heading on to work.

As I turned to leave, a man ran through the door carrying a medium sized dog. The vet staff believed it to be a Chihuahua mix, but in my opinion it was something a bit larger. The dog weighed roughly 30 pounds and was bleeding from the mouth and had a few bloody scrapes on its legs. The man carrying the dog said it had been hit by a car as it crossed the road. Thank goodness the accident occurred very close to the clinic.

The dog was rushed back into the treatment area. About this time, the distraught woman who hit the dog came running through the door. Two dogs had attempted to cross the road, and this one was the only one actually hit. The Good Samaritan had stopped and gone back to help this elderly lady rescue the injured dog.

The dog had on a collar with its tags. It was conscious, moving and looking around. The dog was aware enough to bite the man carrying him, and hopefully wasn’t severely injured.

What amazed me was that within minutes the tags were checked for identification, as well as scanning the injured dog for a micro-chip. The dog was micro-chipped! I felt like jumping up and down with happiness. My vet was looking up the micro-chip information when I left.

I was able to go back into the exam area and see how the dog was doing. The staff at this clinic see me every week and they know I’m good with animals. I stayed out of the way and watched them as they began to treat the dog.

And I started thinking. This owner would be quick to find, thanks to a little bitty chip the size of a grain of rice, which doesn’t hurt the pet and is basically inexpensive. I’ve read that cats who are micro-chipped have about a 70% greater chance of being found than one who doesn’t. I’m not sure what the odds are with dogs.

Having your pet micro-chipped says something about you as a pet owner. First of all, it says you probably adopted your pet from either a shelter or a private rescue, because most of them do this before adoption takes place. Or at the least, it shows you care enough about your pet to have this added layer of protection, should your pet become lost.

The vet most likely respects animals who are micro-chipped, because it means the owner is likely more responsible and will be more willing to do what is necessary to treat an injured pet. Micro-chipping is the right thing to do, no matter how you look at it.

I’ll be stopping back at the vet soon, and I hope to learn the dog pulled through just fine. I don’t know why such well cared for dogs were running loose, but with the weather here running amuck the past few days, I’d believe anything.

Between the tornado warnings, flash flood warnings and high winds, animals are definitely feeling the changes in the atmosphere where I live. I’m glad I didn’t have to witness a dog coming in with no way of finding its owners. An injured animal with no clue of whether it has a home is unbearable to me.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this tale. I feel it has a happy ending. Micro-chipped pets who run into trouble have a great chance of being reunited with their people. The time to do it is before something happens. I hope this story will convince a few of you to do that.


Picture refs: Main picture bought from iStockphoto. Small inset picture from Wikimedia commons by oelmills

13 thoughts on “Witnessed: Benefits of Animal Microchip Implant”

  1. Michael, just one more on this. I want a GPS tracker and micro-chip that allows me to crawl through neighborhoods in my Toyota, searching for my cat. Is that too much to ask?

  2. I guess, what I’m trying to say is this: why can’t micro-chipping be more advanced than this? Less restrictive to just veterinarian scanning? Why can’t I have a micro-chip that allows for GPS-tracking or something similar? (I was led to believe by the person at Capitol Humane that the chip would have this feature. so sad.)

      • They are known to move around, so it’s advised to have your vet scan for it at every visit to be sure it hasn’t shifted. Most of my cats were micro-chipped at the shelter

        • Elisa, Ruth(K), what do you know about providing antioxidants in our cats’ diets? I must confess, after I bite down on my 1000mg d-alpha Vit E capsule and squirt out most of it into my own system, I let Shrimpie have the mostly empty gelatin capsule. He has never attempted to swallow it, but he bites on it. Should I not be doing this? (He gets “tumors” on his back, which sometimes need to be lanced and removed if they develop pus. My former veterinarian does not know why they occur.)

          • I wonder if a vet has ever suggested there could be a link to the ‘tumours’ on Shrimpie’s back and him biting on your gelatin capsule which had vitamin e in?
            Gelatin won’t hurt him as it’s made of animal parts and why we veggies never buy anything with gelatin in, but cats are very clever and know what they need in their diet, maybe he needs a proper course of vitamin e to help his trouble?
            You could ask your new vet about this as you said your former vet didn’t know why the tumours occurred, hopefully this one will be able to prescribe some for him if he thinks he needs it as he won’t be getting enough from your used capsules.

  3. My most gregarious male, Michael, was micro-chipped when adopted from Capitol Humane. After the move from the foreclosured house and acre, he disappeared. He was my “spotted-bellied sphinx,” who would bring up floppy disks and rolls of Scotch tape, whatever he could pick up, and push them under my bedroom door upstairs, when it was shut. (He was always the last one to bed, joining me and the four others an hour or so later, usually.)

    My point is that if the individual who steals the cat is not a Good Samaritan, and does not take the cat to the vet, then what are your chances of getting the cat back due to micrchipping. nil.

    I agree with you, though. Micro-chipping is important, because it certainly increases your chances of being reunited with your beloved feline.

    • Didn’t realise you kept a Sphynx cat at one time. They relatively rare.

      I agree, and it is a good point, the effectiveness of microchipping depends on a Good Samaritan taking the lost cat to a vet.

      If someone is stealing a cat that won’t happen, obviously. The point you are making is that there should be a way of tracking the microchip. I understand that.


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