Microchips: the New ID Tag
Even indoor pets can sometimes find a way out of their house. And many people still allow their pets to roam outside. Cats can get lost if chased by a predator or another cat. They can even get lost chasing prey. Sometimes older cats simply get lost due to a cognitive dysfunction (referred to commonly as “Kitty Alzheimer’s”).
Microchips are technological marvels that have had an amazing impact on the animal welfare community. Admitted stray cats are now routinely scanned for microchips in many cat shelters and veterinary offices, and often these cats are reunited with their families. Tree House microchips every animal in our care. We encourage all pet guardians to do the same.
The procedure for microchipping is simple. A tiny microchip is encapsulated within a biocompatible material and injected into the skin through a hypodermic needle. The microchip is inserted between the shoulder blades, near the base of the neck. The procedure takes only seconds, and is relatively painless. The microchip provides a permanent, positive identification that cannot be removed.
Once a cat is microchipped, guardians need to send a registration form to the National Registry that will add their information to the microchip identification. Without this information, the microchip is virtually worthless. If you change addresses, just as you would notify the post office, contact the company you’ve purchased the microchip from so the id information can be updated. Be sure to consult with the facility that microchips your pet to get more details about this procedure. Lost or stolen micropchipped pets are far more likely to be reunited with their families than pets who aren’t chipped.
Recently, there have been reports in the popular press of microchips causing cancer in laboratory animals. However, according to veterinary pathologists, veterinary oncologists, and also the American Veterinary Medical Association, there have been no reports documented in a veterinary journal in America of cancer being directly linked to a microchip. To date, there is absolutely no scientific evidence that microchipping pets increases incidents of cancer. Clearly, the advantages of microchipping outweigh the risks, if indeed there are any risks.
Tree House offers low-cost microchipping for those in financial need in the Chicagoland area. Call 773-227-5535 for more information.