Mar 28, 2018
By Pip Marquez de la Plata, Forgotten Felines
Sonoma and Marin animal organizations are coming together to promote microchips for pets during the month of April. They are offering free microchips at over 25 VIP Petcare clinic locations throughout Sonoma and Marin counties. The lack of widespread adoption of microchips was magnified by the Sonoma/Napa fires. Thousands of animals were displaced by the fires and many of them did not have a microchip which made reunification with their families difficult at best.
After the fires, 74% of microchipped animals that came to Forgotten Felines of Sonoma County, for instance, were reunited with their families while only 1% of non-microchipped animals made it back to their original home.
While identification tags can become lost easily, and tattoos may not always be legible, microchips are permanent identification chips that are about the size of a grain of rice. They are injected between the shoulder blades with a needle, and the process is about as quick as a vaccination. Most pets go through the one-time process without so much as a squeak.
When a lost pet is taken to an animal shelter or veterinary clinic, they will scan the pet for a microchip and read its unique code. This code is stored with the pet’s profile and linked to the owner's contact information.
National averages show that only about 15% of dogs and 2% of cats without permanent identification return home to their owners. Approximately 9 million companion animals are admitted to shelters in the U.S. every year. Many of these are euthanized because their owners cannot be found. And, microchipped pets are 2.5 times more likely to be returned to their owners.
The estimated cost to implant and register a microchip ranges from about $25 to $75. However, from April 2 through April 30, the organizations are offering this service for free, which includes free lifetime registration. The free microchips are available for both dogs and cats. No appointments are necessary, but a valid voucher must be presented at the time of service.
Vouchers can be downloaded along with clinic locations and times at www.freemicrochip.org.
The organizations involved in the microchip campaign are: Forgotten Felines of Sonoma County, The Humane Society of Sonoma County, The Marin Humane Society, Petaluma Animal Services Foundation, Pets Lifeline, Rohnert Park Animal Services and Sonoma County Animal Services.
I saw Mika’s picture in theSonoma County Gazette this month advertising free microchips! She must be the poster cat from the fire! I thought I would send you a couple of photos of her life now. Her favorite place is on the couch and just within the last week she has let Lola sleep next to her.
She is unbelievably playful and loves chasing her fishing pole and can jump 3 ft into the air which amazes me as she is 16lbs. She also has no desire to go outside even when the door is wide open. She still doesn’t like sudden movement, but does not hide when I have company over. You might forward this to the women who brought her in as she was happy to hear that she has a new home. Chris
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