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Help them find their way home

Posted September 11, 2013 in Advice Column, Des Moines West

My dogs are highly trained, and I would have sworn that one of my dogs would never be lost, but in a moment of panic my sheltie ran and was missing. It was a very long 24 hours before he was found.

There are many reasons pets can come up missing from wandering off, an accident or even a natural disaster. According to the American Humane Association, almost 9.6 million pets are euthanized every year because they can’t be reunited with their owners. Collars and tags are important, but microchipping is a valuable way to identify your pet because microchips don’t slip off, tear, wear off or become lost.

A microchip is about the size of a grain of rice, and it is injected under the skin between the shoulder blades. It does not require anesthetic, takes just a few seconds and can be done in the exam room by your pet’s doctor.

Each microchip has a registration number that is entered into a data base with your name and contact information after you submit the paperwork. Remember to keep it current. When a pet is found, a veterinarian or shelter will use a scanner to read the number and contact the registry.

According to the American Animal Hospital Association, only about 17 percent of lost dogs and 2 percent of lost cats ever find their way back to their owners. Prevent the heartache and see your veterinarian to ensure your pet has an up-to-date microchip.

Information provided by Dr. Nancy T. Peterson, DVM,  Ingersoll Animal Hospital, 3009 Ingersoll Ave., 274-3555.





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