Lost pets that have microchips are more likely to be reunited with their owners. This is according to a recent study published by a leading veterinary journal.
Animal shelters in 23 states participated in this study. It was revealed that shelter officials were able to find the owners of microchipped pets 4 out of 5 times.
“This is the first time there has been good data about the success of shelters finding the owners of pets with microchips,” says Dr. Linda Lord, lead author of the study and professor Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine.
According to shelter statistics, lost microchipped cats were 20 times more likely to be returned to owners than non-microchipped cats. Microchipped dogs were 2.5 times more likely to be returned to their owners than non-microchipped dogs.
The major reason why pet owners could not be located was due to incorrect or disconnected phone numbers in the registration database. “The chip is only as good as the information that the owner provides. The pet owner needs to make sure that their information is always up-to-date.” Lord says.
Owners’ not returning calls or answering letters, unregistered microchips and microchips registered to a database that differed from the manufacturer were other reasons owners were not found, according to the study.
The results of this study clearly indicate the advantage of microchipping your pet. However, even though microchipping is essential, nothing replaces the need for a collar and tag with your pet’s name and your phone number, Lord says.