If I can take a minute for a purely personal issue, I’d like to encourage everyone to microchip their cats and dogs, especially if your pet is apt to be outside / beyond the bounds of a fence.
Last Saturday, a darling black lab was roaming at large in our neighborhood. He was friendly, well cared for, and neutered–obviously someone’s beloved pet–but no one recognized him and he had lost his collar, so we had no way to get him to his home. Brunswick’s animal control office was closed until the following Tuesday, so it looked like this dog might be separated from his owner for at least three days.
We live only one block off busy Maine Street, so if the dog stayed at large, there was the chance he might get hit on Maine Street, so Gail next door grabbed him and put him in her fence until she was able to track down his owner.
The story had a happy ending: the dog was reunited with his owners later that day–a family that had just moved into the neighborhood. Someone had left the fence open by mistake. But, the incident got me moving quickly on an idea I’d toyed with for a while, getting my own Scout (photo below) microchipped.
Scout had an appointment that Tuesday for his yearly shots, and when I asked the vet about microchipping, I was surprised at how easy and inexpensive the process is. The microchip, about the size of a grain of rice, is implanted without putting the dog to sleep. The vet uses a syringe to place the chip under the dog’s skin near his shoulder blades. And, the total cost was under $60 including registering the chip’s ID number with Home Again, which maintains the database of ID numbers and a 24-hour hot line for reuniting pets with their owners.
Now if Scout slips out of the house–he has once in the past year–or if he slips his collar while on a walk–he has once in the past year–we have the chip as an extra precaution against losing him.