Why Microchip Your Brittany?
Although state and county licensing laws are supposed to help return lost dogs to their owners, the process usually doesn’t work well and there are too many healthy dogs being euthanized or placed in new homes because the owners can’t be located. In many areas, few people comply with licensing laws. Even among those that do license their dogs, the identifying tags will lost if the collar is removed intentionally or accidentally while the dog is loose.
Microchipping is one most effective ways of permanently identifying an animal and returning lost pets to their rightful owners. The chip cannot be lost or intentionally removed and the identifying number cannot be altered.
The chip is inserted under the skin, usually in the area of loose skin over the dog’s shoulder. It is no more painful than an ordinary vaccination. The chip itself is about the size of a grain of rice and is implanted with a special pre-packed and sterile injector. Each chip carries a unique number that can provide positive identification of the animal. The entire process takes only a few minutes—about the same length of time as an annual vaccination. Newer chips have a special shell on the tip of the encapsulated microchip that bonds to the subcutaneous tissue. The chip’s carrier is a tiny tube made of a special type of glass that is compatible with living tissue so the microchip will not be rejected by the animal’s body.
John, a long time Brittany owner and breeder, shared the following experience of how the microchip worked to reunite a dog with his owner, even across a considerable distance. John says, “On a beautiful, sunny, Sunday morning I received a call from a Missouri shelter. (I live in Michigan.) “We have your dog”, she said. I was stunned and perplexed. All my dogs were home and I have never lost a dog. “What is his name”, I asked, and she said it was Alex. Then I figured out what had happened. I had bought a dog named Alex and I had him chipped. He did not work out for me so he went back to his breeder and was later placed in a new home in Missouri by his breeder. He had slipped out a door as so many Brittanys can do and was picked up by the local animal shelter. The shelter scanned him and since the new owner had not transferred his paperwork, the chip manufacturer still had my phone number. They called me, I called the breeder, and Alex was back with his owner within two hours.”
Dogs that receive the microchip must be registered in a database so that the identifying number carried by each chip can be matched with the owner’s name and address. The microchip is invisible but can be scanned using a special reader that provides veterinarians and animal control officers with a number that can then be traced back to the animal’s owner.
In recent years, a “universal” scanner has been developed that can read all microchips. New, universal scanners were given free of charge to thousands of U.S. shelters.
A microchip can mean the difference between a pet lost forever and a happy reunion.
Ask your veterinarian about microchipping your puppy around the time he receives his final set of vaccinations. You can also keep an eye out for microchip clinics at animal fairs, Humane Society days, agility or obedience trials, and dog shows.
For more information on microchip technology, visit the following websites:
Home Again (database maintained by the American Kennel Club) http://www.akccar.org/