August 15th is National Check The Chip Day, a day that reminds us to have our pet's microchip checked!  We should check our pet's microchip annually to ensure it's still working properly, and that it hasn't shifted away from the shoulder area of our pet's body where it's typically implanted and scanned.  It's also a reminder to update the information on the chip such as address and phone number if it's changed since you last updated it.

I never knew how critical a microchip as pet identification can be until I started volunteering at an animal shelter.  I microchipped my 15 year old cat after hearing all the stories of the bizarre ways in which pets go missing and how easily collars can break off or get wiggled out of.  

I could share countless shelter stories that illustrate the importance of microchipping your pet and of making sure the chip is updated as needed.  I have my dogs' microchips checked every time they go to the vet.  My vet thinks I'm a little neurotic, but who cares?  Here is one story I'd like to share with you.  Don't let this happen to your beloved pet.

At the shelter one day, I heard a lot of yelling in front of one of the kennels.  I walked over to find a customer yelling at a fellow volunteer, arguing about a gorgeous Rhodesian Ridgeback dog she thought she had just adopted.  Amazingly, the owner showed up to claim his dog at the precise time the woman was completing her adoption of his dog – what are the odds of that?!  Per shelter policy, the pet was to be given back to the owner and the adoption cancelled. 

Photo of a Rhodesian Ridgeback  Source: Wikipedia
The woman was furious, she wanted that purebred dog!  In her mind the owner was irresponsible and she was entitled to the dog because she filled out all the paperwork before he showed up. 

This beautiful dog had a family.  He had a Rhodesian Ridgeback sibling who missed him and a human family who loved him.  Needless to say, the dog hadn’t been microchipped and had somehow lost his collar.  The owner, a very nice young man, was overjoyed to find his beloved lost dog.  He explained that a crew of workmen in their home had been instructed to keep the front door closed, but a new guy joined the crew and wasn’t told about keeping the door closed.  He left the door open to get materials from the truck and both dogs ran out.  The other dog returned home soon after, but this one did not.  A good citizen found the dog on the street and brought him to the shelter.  The owner was lucky to have come to our particular shelter to search for his lost dog – in the nik of time!   Literally, 15 minutes later his dog would have been gone forever.  A microchip would have identified him as the owner immediately and his poor dog would not have had to go through the trauma of sitting in a shelter for days, being put through assessments and an adoption process, and nearly adopted by a total stranger.

The Rhodesian Ridgeback incident is one of those stories I often bring up when discussing the importance of microchipping pets and of ensuring the chip is working properly and is updated with current information.  It was pure luck that enabled this guy to find his dog at a shelter moments before the dog’s adoption to a stranger was FINALIZED.   
Let today be a reminder to Check Your Pet's Chip !



Unknown said...

Oh wow! I'm glad he found his dog! Thanks for sharing the importance of microchipping your pet!

Unknown said...

I agree with Lisa, thank dog!!
Chips can be so impawtant in the safety of our pets! I think some people take that for-granted.
ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them said...

Absolutely! He was lucky. You never know what shelter your pet may end up in, it's not always the closest one. They often get moved around based on how much space each shelter location has as well.

Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them said...

Yep, it's really critical. Collars can easily break off if they snag on something. I've also seen terrified dogs wiggle out of collars & even harnesses that appear to be secure. You really need both a chip & a collar w/ ID. Thanks for stopping by!

Impurrfectlife said...

Yes! This is so true. I remembered when I was a volunteer for a no kill organization for cats hearing multiple stories about lost cats with no microchips or thos with chips but outdated contact information. It's so sad. Glad there is a day to call attention to this issue.

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