MUSCATINE, Iowa–When a furry friend gets loose, owners want nothing more than for them to return safe and sound. Fortunately, microchips can provide an effective form of identification that can make it easier to figure out who lost pets belong to and get them back to their families.
According to Muscatine Humane Society director Chris McGinnis, many shelters and veterinarians, as well as some rescues and breeders, provide microchipping for the animals in their care. A fast and minimally invasive procedure, a vet or trained shelter staff member places a microchip smaller than a grain of rice into a syringe and then implants it between the dog or cat’s shoulders. Once registered, each microchip contains contact information about the pet’s owners as well as an emergency contact. For pets adopted from the Muscatine Humane Society, the chip also includes the shelter’s contact information as well, which can be helpful if owners move or otherwise change their contact information without updating their registration.
In the event that a microchipped pet gets lost, shelters or veterinarians with a chip scanner can pass it over the animal’s back and get their microchip number. They can then contact the microchip’s manufacturer and get the owner’s contact information, making it much easier to reunite the pet with their family. If an ordinary person without a microchip reader finds a stray pet who has a collar tag with a microchip number and phone number on it, they can contact the microchip company that way and help get the animal home. Because of this added benefit of collar tags, the City of Muscatine requires all cats and dogs to wear an identification tag, rabies tag, and city license tag on their collars at all times.
On June 4, Muscatine Animal Control held their first ever vaccine and microchip clinic. Though this event has passed, the Muscatine Humane Society does offer microchipping and registration to the general public for $25 per pet. Alternately, you may contact local vets and ask if they offer microchipping and how much they charge for the service.