Microchips help prevent pet loss
Both Seattle and King County animal control agencies now scan all incoming animals for microchips. So do most other animal control and welfare agencies throughout the nation, including the Puget Sound region.
According to the Seattle-King County Veterinary Medical Association, this scanning greatly enhances the chances for reuniting lost or stolen pets with their owners.
In conjunction with National Pet Week, May 5-11, the association is encouraging pet owners to have their pets injected with the microchips.
The microchipping procedure is similar to giving an injection and can be quickly and easily performed by a veterinarian. Fees vary from clinic to clinic, but range from $28 to $35.
Veterinarians keep records of the numbers issued, but formal registration of the animal with a nationwide tracking agency comes from the microchip supplier and is the pet owner's responsibility. Registration costs range from $7.50 per pet up to $35 for 1,000 pets.
The electronic microchips are approximately the size of a long grain of rice and carry a coded, nine-digit identification number that can be read by a hand-held scanner. Computerized tracking systems use that number to match pets with veterinarians and owners via a toll-free, round-the-clock telephone number.
If your pet has been in an accident, a microchip can help locate you so that medical treatment can proceed. Should an uncollared pet slip out, it can still be identified. A chip also can verify ownership of a stolen animal and provide a strong deterrent to thieves who profit from selling valuable pets. For information, call 454-8381.