Vet service sees demand for microchips growing
Fido doesn't have to be lost forever, thanks to an emerging high-tech identification service.
Microchip technology is picking up steam in the pet world.
More and more pet owners are having tiny microchips implanted in their dogs, cats and other animals in case they ever are lost or run away.
Once implanted under the skin, the microchips can be scanned and the pet's owner can be identified.
Countryside Veterinary Service has been implanting microchips for several years, but only recently has their use been picking up dramatically.
"It's kind of a nice thing to have," said Shawna Mitchell, veterinary assistant at Countryside. "It's a great way to get pets back to their owners."
"A lot of suburbs in the Cities are starting to require it," added Mindi Koethe, head technician at Countryside.
The Countryside staff has one success story that proves the usefulness of the microchips.
One area family lost their dog two years ago and their hope was waning that it would ever return. About a year ago, the family got a call from a Humane Society that had identified the dog by scanning its microchip.
The microchip is usually implanted when a puppy comes in for its spay or neutering surgery, Mitchell said, although some pet owners have the procedure done at a different time.
When a stray pet is picked up, a municipal official or Humane Society employee uses a hand-held scanner to see if the animal has a microchip implanted. If there is a chip, a special numerical code is displayed on the scanner's screen. That number is then fed into a computer, and the owner's information pops up on the screen.
For more information about the microchip service, contact your local veterinarian.