November 28, 2012 • 301 views

These two sweet dogs were found roaming together in Altadena.  They had no collars, no tags, and were not microchipped.  If it weren’t for the kindness of a stranger taking the time to catch them, take them in, and find them a foster home, their fate would be dire.  Stray dogs found in Altadena are taken by LA Animal Control to the shelter in Baldwin Park.  Without any identification or way to contact their owners, they would be held at the shelter for just a matter of days.  After that, if someone had not put in an application to adopt either or both of them, their sad fate would be euthanasia.

Found Animals teaches us that a microchip is a small device about the size of a grain of rice that is implanted beneath your pet’s skin. It contains a unique number used to identify the animal. This number links to your contact information in an online registry that allows shelters, clinics, veterinarians, and humane organizations to contact you if your lost pet is found.

Registered microchips give lost pets the best chance of returning home.  According to HomeAgain pet recovery system, the following statistics indicate that missing pets rarely make it home:

• The American Humane Association estimates over 10 million dogs and cats are lost or stolen in the U.S. every year.

• One in three pets will become lost at some point during their life.

A study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, including 53 animal shelters from across the country, confirmed the high rate of return of microchipped dogs and cats to their families, and the importance of microchip registration. From the study:

• Only about 22 percent of lost dogs that entered the animal shelters were reunited with their families. However, the return-to-owner rate for microchipped dogs was over 52 percent (a 238 percent increase).

• Less than 2 percent of lost cats that entered the animal shelters were reunited with their families. The return-to-owner rate for microchipped cats was dramatically higher at over 38 percent (more than 2000 percent better).

So please, put collars and tags on your pets, and take them in for microchipping.  The chances are that someday you will be very grateful that you did.

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