Nov 112003
Authors: Holly Stollsteimer

Microchips are computer chips about the size of a grain of rice,

according to 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.

According to

“”>, 2

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,

according to






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