Is Your Dog Microchipped?
The UK has declared June 2012 to be National Microchipping Month, where dog and cat owners are encouraged to have their pets microchipped. According to this article, 77 per cent of the dogs reported lost in the UK last year were not microchipped.
Some countries actually have mandatory microchipping, including the first country to do so, Denmark, as well as Spain, Sweden and France.
Montreal’s Moving Day
When dogs that are lost wind up at animal shelters, they may not have very long before they are euthanized because there simply aren't enough resources or space to keep them. When animal shelters are suddenly inundated with abandoned pets, the situation is that much worse. It’s just one more reason to make sure your dog is microchipped - you can be notified by any shelter that finds him. Not all animal shelters communicate with one another, so checking one shelter might not work if your pet is found across town.
This brings us to Montreal's infamous Moving Day, a day where every year on July 1st it's tradition for families and students to set the date for their next move, because that's when historically most leases in Quebec are up. With so many people moving, there is always a huge sudden increase in abandoned pets.
The city has started a $170,000 campaign to raise awareness about the responsibilities of pet ownership in anticipation of this year’s Moving Day. If you live in Quebec and have been considering adopting a pet, now is the time to do so - because soon, the shelters will be full and will need to make room.
Heartwarming Microchip Stories
When you pay extra attention to dogs-in-the-news stories like we do, you'll find that the majority of them aren't the kind of stories that leave you with warm fuzzies (see the paragraph above). So, once in a while it's nice to find stories of long-lost pets being reunited with their owners thanks to microchips.
In Barnhart, Missouri, a black and white terrier mix named Tessa was assumed to have been killed by coyotes when she went missing - four years ago. A family picked up the dog and brought it to the vet, where they found Tessa's microchip and were able to reunite her with her family earlier this month.
In Ann Arbour, Michigan, a cat named Tom was reunited with his owner after being missing for 140 days. He'd disappeared from a stopped car while travelling, and was brought to an animal hospital that found his microchip. He was reunited with his family a few weeks ago.
In Oregon, five-pound Pup Pup disappeared in 2008 into the desert. After what must have been quite an adventure, the Brussels griffon was found 100 miles away, thanks to a microchip. He was reunited with his family last month after being missing for more than four years.
Keep your microchips up to date
Microchips are credited with bringing lots of lost dogs home, but it's extremely important that the microchip information is kept up to date.
Take Chumley the English Bulldog, for example. He was missing for four months and found laying under a tree more than 500 miles away, thanks to a microchip. However, the information on the microchip was outdated and the person who found Chumley had to put in a lot of effort to track down Chumley's family based on the little information they had. There's also this mystery dog found in Chester County, PA, whose microchip information leads to a disconnected phone number in New York. Update: The mystery dog has a name, and will have a happy ending.
Microchip information is usually easily updated in an online database and can be done from your home computer in a just a few seconds.
Is your dog microchipped? According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, 21.9 per cent of lost dogs are reunited with their owners, but more than half of those who are microchipped will come home again.