Each year the Ann Arbor Animal Hospital participates in an awareness campaign designed to motivate pet owners to have their four-legged children micro-chipped. The message of micro-chipping seems to be resonating globally with both the USA and the U.K. having designated June as National Microchipping Month.
The AAAH has done several blogs on microchipping — see this blog that links to a video of a microchip being implanted — but it still seems as though there is more work to do getting pet owners to understand why microchipping should be viewed as more along the lines of “mandatory” versus “optional.”
Case in point, this past February we met a Good Samaritan who brought an adult, male cat to the hospital. He was a beautiful brown tabby, found as a stray, who obviously had been someone’s pet at one point in his life. However, at presentation the veterinarian and staff knew this cat had probably been separated from his owners for some time. His skittish demeanor and weight loss were two signs that this poor guy missed home.
Our doctor scanned* the stray and BINGO… a microchip was found with the relevant information we needed. The registered name on the chip led to a phone number that led to a phone call that led to an owner ECSTATIC that her long lost boy had been found.
Later on that same day we met Joanne, who is a resident of Detroit. Joanne was both relieved and overjoyed that she was reunited with TOM, her 8 year old cat.
As it turns out, Tom was lost September 2nd 2011 and had been a stray until the Good Samaritan brought him to our hospital on February 23rd, 2012… more than 140 days after he went missing. Apparently, while traveling to their home in Detroit, Tom’s owners had stopped near Sutton Road between Northfield Church and North Territorial Roads. Tom escaped.
Joanne listed Tom’s information on Petfinder.com, The HSHV, and on Craigslist in the hope that someone would see her “missing” message and be able to help. Also, Joanne stopped several times over the following weeks at the location where she’d lost Tom but that too proved fruitless.
When we met Joanne she told us that she had lost hope of ever seeing Tom again, and this combined with the frustration and anxiety of not knowing what ever happened to him made the whole experience one Joanne would like to forget. When they were finally reunited you can image how excited and happy we were to watch.
So, with the beautiful spring we’re having and all of us letting our pets outside to experience the change of seasons with us, we’re encouraging pet owners to please get your pets microchipped if you haven’t done so already.
*Please note that though we can check for microchips, we are not set up to handle stray animals. For more information on what you should do if you find a stray, please click here.