Questions about the safety of microchipping come up often at the Animal Hospital at Bideawee. Recently a potential adopter expressed concern after spending time looking at local shelters and adoption centers in the hopes of adopting a puppy. At most of the places they visited they were told that adoptable puppies are “chipped”. In this process, a chip containing owner information is implanted into a cat or dog so that if they become lost the dog or cat can be “scanned” to determine the owner so that the pet can be returned to their home.
I have seen many instances of lost pets and distraught owners. Spending 6 months in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina gave me the opportunity to witness first-hand how difficult it is to reunite animals with their owners when no permanent identification exists. Unfortunately collars and tags fall off, and in Katrina, even dogs with Rabies tags couldn't be traced because all of the animal hospitals were destroyed and their records couldn’t be accessed.
Even though implanting a device under an animal’s skin may make some people uneasy, it is an important aspect of pet care. To make sure that all pets have an opportunity to become reunited with their owners should they become lost Bideawee microchips all of the animals that come into the Adoption Centers at Bideawee. The benefits of microchipping greatly outweigh any possible drawbacks. It is an extremely rare occurrence for a dog or cat to get an infection at the site of the microchip so there is really is no downside to the procedure.
While microchips don't guarantee that your pet will find their way home, it is the best chance you both have at being reunited should you get separated from your four legged best friend.