Why You Should Microchip Your Pet

Every morning when you drop your pet off for surgery at Spay Neuter Charlotte, we give a brief talk about our admit process we mention that we can microchip your pet. I feel strongly about microchipping and always recommend a pet owner to do it if given the chance.

A microchip is a tiny chip, about the size of a grain of rice, that is implanted under the skin in-between the shoulder blades. Making an incision is not necessary for implanting a microchip as the chips come with a tool to helps insert it. The tool is similar to the needle we use for vaccinations, but it is a slightly larger gauge. Your phone number is associated with the microchip along with your information (and usually your vet’s information for extra precaution). Every vet and shelter has a “wand” that is used to scan for microchips. If the pet is chipped, once scanned the phone number will appear on the wand. The vet or shelter employee can then enter the number into a national database and the information found can be used to help reunite the family.

The microchips that we carry at Spay Neuter Charlotte are from a company called Save This Life and their chips take things a step further as they don’t just provide a phone number but are also search engine based. Save This Life microchips come with a stainless steel tag that has “Google this number to find my family” engraved onto it that a pet owner can attach to the pet’s collar. Why is having this number and phrase on the chip so helpful? Because it eliminates the need to take a stray pet to the vet or shelter to have them scanned. The person who found the stray can just Google (or look it up using any search engine) the number provided on the chip and as soon as they hit enter the pet owner will receive a text message or an email with a map of the location from where the person searched. While this is incredible because it can make the pet owner aware of where the pet is located, it is important to remember that a Save This Life chip is NOT a GPS. There is no safe way to implant a GPS into your pets. Save This Life chips are able to locate the pet based on the search because it uses the IP address of the device used to search.

We have helped reunite so many pets that have come to us as strays, because they were microchipped. Once a cat came into Spay Neuter Charlotte as a stray that had been taken in by a kind family that found her. It turns out the cat was already spayed…and microchipped! We let the family that found the cat and and brought it in know that it was microchipped and they gave us approval to call the original owners. It turns out that while the original owners were on vacation at Disney World the cat had accidentally gotten out of their home when the pet sitter was there. The kitty had been missing for almost a year. When the cat was finally reunited with her original family there were tears from both the family that had been missing their beloved cat and from the family that had found her and made her part of their family. While the reunion was a happy moment, it was also bittersweet. We were so glad the original family got their kitty back but sad for the family who found her and now had to let her go. This is only one of many just stories we could share about the benefits of microchipping. At the end of the day, microchips can truly save your pets life.

-Nora, Patient Services Manager

You can learn more about Save This Life here.

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