Did you know that microchipping your pets requires a follow-up registration?
Shelter Manager Colleen Morrice with the Weyburn Humane Society said a Crested Chinese Poodle was with them for five days because it took that long to track down its unregistered chip.
"He had a micro-chip. Unfortunately, the people didn't register their micro-chip so it took me a lot of work to find the breeder and then the breeder was able to tell me who adopted the dog," she explained. "A lot of people wanted him, but without that research of me being able to look up micro-chips, which the normal person couldn't do, he wouldn't have gone home to his family."
Morrice said she called all of the micro-chip companies.
"I eventually got to one that only spoke Spanish, so they were able to get me onto an English one. It was a 933 chip, so I think it was bought off of Amazon, that just happens to be where the breeder gets hers. So it was incredible that I was able to go back all the ways; I won't say how many hours I spent looking for this dog's real owner, but he was a real sweetheart, so that's why I wanted to make sure he went home. They were from Lipton, Saskatchewan."
While they can scan the micro-chips to help find owners, she said chips are usually installed by either a breeder or a veterinarian. However, within the next six weeks, the Weyburn shelter will soon be doing their micro-chipping in-house.
"Just with all the puppies we have, so many are looking alike that I'm going to start installing my own," she noted. "So as soon as they come in, and they are ours after the 72 hours, they will be getting micro-chipped."
The animals don't even know the chip has been installed, and only takes a few short minutes, as it's "just a very tiny needle that goes right in between their shoulder blades."
Morrice said it's important to have the Vet check about a week after the chip has been installed, as sometimes those chips migrate or even push out of the skin.
"Once you get your micro-chip, make sure you register your microchip. It will come with a form with a 1-800 number. Make sure you get your name, address, and phone number in there, plus the phone number of a loved one in case you change your phone number."
This step helps ensure pets are reunited in a much more timely manner than with the poodle whose owners she was able to track down after much ado.
"It took a long time to find this puppy's owner, and he was only two years old, very well mannered, very behaved, so I knew he was somebody's."
While most dogs are micro-chipped, most cats are not.
In the case of Bear, a dog from Stoughton who ended up in Toronto (read more HERE), Morrice said Bear's owner didn't know he was micro-chipped.
"Keep all the information and make sure they're registered under the right owner. Any stray that comes in, we check the chip," she explained. "A micro-chip would get an animal home so much faster. If you lost your cat in June, what it looks like in November is not the same. They lose a lot of weight. The face structure changes, everything. So a micro-chip is the only guaranteed way to get your animal home."