Dear Editor,

Social media is a great resource for reuniting wayward pets with their people. But it is not the best way.

Having both an ID tag on your pet and having them microchipped are key to getting them back to you as quickly as possible. Why both? If your pet shows up in a neighbor’s yard, they can read the ID tag and contact you. But unless they have a special scanner, they cannot read the microchip. However, ID tags can get lost or be removed, so it’s important to also have your pet microchipped.

A microchip is a tiny transponder about the size of a grain of rice. It is placed under the skin by a needle in the area of the shoulder blades. The microchip is not a GPS tracker; it only contains your contact info. But if your pet is picked up by animal control or ends up in a shelter without an ID tag, your contact info will be available. 

Prices for having your pet microchipped vary greatly from one veterinarian to another, so check around. The best price I have found in this area is approximately $25. And there is no need to purchase an expensive plan to have your microchip registered with an online database. The best one is free: www.foundanimals.org. If your contact information changes, don’t forget to log on and update your information.

So, buy your pet a collar and ID tag, take a great picture in case you need to post it on social media, and have your pet microchipped. And while you’re at it, have them spayed or neutered too.

 

Kay Johnson

Marshall County Animal Advocates

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