Pet Pause - Lost Pets and Microchipping - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Pet Pause - Lost Pets and Microchipping

by Jeannie Prescott

Wake Up Wisconsin (WAOW)-- What do you do if your pet goes missing? What is a micro-chip and how does it work? What information should I have on my animals tags?

Dolores Glytas from Wisconsin Federated joined us on Wake Up Wisconsin for our weekly Pet Pause, to talk about lost pets and how to protect your animal in case it goes missing.  

Finding a Lost Pet:

Here are some steps you can take to increase the likelihood of finding your lost pet...

- Make sure your pet has proper identification; this includes a secure collar with an identification tag showing the pets' name and owners' phone number(s).

- Take immediate action. Just as when a person goes missing, the quicker you begin your search, the better the odds of finding him/her.

- Make sure you do a run-through of every area in and around your residence where the pet may have wandered to or could be trapped. Look behind appliances, in vents, and any place the animal could fit.

- Notify the neighbors and look around the neighborhood where the pet went missing. When you speak with neighbors, leave a description of the pet with them and a number where they can contact you.

- Make a quick flyer with a recent picture of your pet, along with the name the pet goes by. Make sure you add your contact number.

- Start your search right away, call out for your pet and squeak a favorite toy or shake a box of treats. Do this at night too in case the animal is afraid to come out during the day.

- Put a piece of clothing/shoe/blanket/etc. outside your home so the pet can ‘smell home'. Animals, especially dogs have a great sense of smell.

- Call the vet clinics, animal shelters, humane societies and animal control in the area. Let them know you have an animal missing.

- Check out the "found pet" adds that run in some newspapers. You could also consider placing a "lost pet" ad in the paper/online and offering a reward

- Head to the humane societies/shelters in your area to see if your animal is there.

Microchipping and Your Pet

Vets and humane societies agree that microchipping your pet is an important tool that can help if your pet goes missing. A microchip is a tiny device that is implanted underneath your animals' skin, usually under their shoulder blade.  It's a quick and relatively painless procedure and will run you around $50. There are fees associated with using the microchip service (usually annual). Microchips are designed to last the lifetime of your pet and should not need to be replaced. Microchips have helped find millions of pets around the country.

Although microchips are widely viewed as a great tool, there are a few notes you should take before microchipping your pet.


-Not all microchips are readable to all scanners. According to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), " Microchips implanted in 2003 or earlier are generally readable by most shelters and veterinarians. Microchips that came into use in late 2003 are generally not readable by most shelters and veterinarians because the chips require different scanning technology. Microchip manufacturers have not yet provided shelters around the country with a scanner that reads all different types of microchips (called a "universal" scanner)."

- The Reason the HSUS says is, "Each company that manufactures microchips has its own scanners, and some of these scanners can only "read" their own microchip. In other words, in some instances, the scanner of one company may not be able to detect the microchip of another manufacturer, which would indicate to the shelter staff that the lost animal is not microchipped. Without the ability to use one scanner for all types of microchips, shelter staff would have to scan the animal, who may be fearful and difficult to handle, multiple times with each manufacturer's scanner. Additionally, some companies provide their scanners free to shelters, some do not. Without sufficient numbers of free scanners available to equip all animal control vehicles as well as shelters, microchipped animals may go unscanned by agencies, which can't afford to purchase multiple scanners from multiple manufacturers."

Visit The Humane Society of The United States for more helpful information.    

Online Reporter: Jeannie Prescott

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