Data credited to the American Humane Society estimates more than 10 million dogs and cats are lost or stolen in the United States every year. Fact sheets from companies like Home Again say 6 to 8 million of those pets may end up in shelters, and 90 percent of them will not return home.
The staff at the Westside Veterinary Center can't advocate strongly enough for every pet owner — whether they're 'parents' of our patients here on Upper West Side of Manhattan or elsewhere — to have their pets microchipped as soon as possible.
What Is Microchipping?
A microchip is about the size of a single grain of rice, this chip is implanted in your pet and contains a unique identification number. Should your animal ever become lost, any veterinarian or shelter with a handheld scanner (commonly known as a transponder) can activate the chip registered to your pet and determine the owners.
Microchipping is a painless procedure in which a needle is used to place the microchip under the skin. It does not require anesthesia and can be done during a normal visit to our animal hospital.
Is the Microchip like a Tracking Device?
A microchip is not a tracking device and doesn't operate like a GPS. It can't track your pet's location if it does get lost and wanders from place to place but can lead to a fast reunion once the microchip is scanned.
Pet owners need to register the microchip and to opt-in to communications from its manufacturer, such as text messaging, email, newsletters, and more. The information you use to identify your pet, including its home address and phone number, will be stored in a database. To protect your privacy, no random person can look up a microchip number in order to determine an owner's identification.
Will a Microchip Really Help to Find A Lost Pet?
Microchips don't help find lost animals, they help to identify them. Manufacturers are essentially comprehensive pet recovery services, and getting your pet microchipped significantly increases the likelihood that you'll see your beloved pet again if it becomes lost.
A microchip is seen as the only form of permanent pet identification, unlike tags worn on a collar. It contains a number that cannot be changed or removed. All in all, microchips are considered completely safe and bring peace of mind at a low cost.
If you have questions about our microchipping services, call the Westside Veterinary Center today at (212) 580-1800 or visit us on the Upper West Side of Manhattan at 220 West 83 Street.