Microchips are computer chips about the size of a grain of rice,
according to www.countrysidevet.com. The chip is composed of an
alphanumeric code, which contains all your pet’s essential
information. It emits a radio frequency only when activated by a
microchip scanner, the Web site noted. When a lost pet has been
found, veterinary clinics, animal hospitals and humane societies
can use scanners to look up information from the chip and reunite
an owner with the lost pet.
“For those who have an escape artist cat, or if you travel a
lot, those are the people who do most of the microchipping,” said
Jennifer Morris, manager of Countryside Animal Hospital, P.C.
She said they perform microchipping services at $52.50, which
includes all chipping and American Kennel Club registering
“Your registration fee covers a lifetime registration, in case
you move,” Morris said.
Chappelle Small Animal Hospital technician Kim Stewart stated
this service is offered here as well, but for $42, which only
covers the veterinarian and microchipping fees. There is an
additional $12 charge to activate the chip through the AKC.
According to Stewart, the Humane Society recommends the service
to everyone who walks in the door. Both animal hospitals also said
they believe it’s a helpful tool.
Morris said Countryside doesn’t see a need from those who have
indoor animals or older, less active pets. Microchipping is also
common among those who have purebred cats or dogs. According to
Morris, purebreds are chipped, especially if breeding, to prove
their strong bloodlines.
In an event where an owner might lose his/her pet, Stewart said,
a microchip is the only way to prove the animal is yours in
For the most part, both Morris and Stewart said members of the
general public who love their pets do most of the chipping.
“Usually it’s that average Joe that wants to be sure he can get
his dog back,” Morris said.
The program has become more popular. According to Stewart,
Chappelle sees about one in 20 dogs and one in 40 cats
microchipped. Animals are found through Chappelle’s scanners about
once a month.
percent of cats and 16 percent of dogs are reunited with their
owners through the microchipping system around the country.
Stewart stated she feels the program will become increasingly
“I assume it will become ‘the thing to do’ in the future,” she
The program was not as popular in the past, Morris said, because
scanners for one brand of microchips were not compliant with all
brands. Countryside uses the brand HomeAgain, which is one of the
more common brands.
Morris said the company has been studying the idea of putting a
thermal chip in the existing microchip. This would make it easier
to take the animal’s temperature “instead of sticking a thermometer
up its backside.”
The microchipping system is available to thousands of vet
clinics, rescue groups and animal shelters around the nation,