The furry friend feature: How the power of pet microchips can bring peace of mind

A properly registered microchip, the size of a grain of rice, can make the difference between quickly reunited pets and owners, say a long separation or total loss. Heritage Humane Society. In 2023, Greater Williamsburg’s largest animal shelter had 887 lost or missing pets brought in by Animal Control or Good Samaritans. Of this large number, only 211 of these pets were reunited with their owners. A recent reunion that caught the attention of the community explained how to get the most out of a microchip so that only tears of joy can be produced.

According to the Animal Humane Society, one in three pets will go missing in their lifetime, or the equivalent of 10 million pets each year. In a study published by the Journal of the AVMA, research revealed that only 22 percent of lost dogs entering shelters were returned to their families, but When the dog was microchipped, that rate jumped to 52 percent.

Even better results were obtained in the cat population. One in 50 cats were returned to their owners at animal shelters, but two in five cats were reunited with their families when microchipped, the study found.

Unfortunately, only six out of 10 pets have registered microchips, an oversight that can prevent lost pets from being returned to their families.

The microchip mystery is solved.

Recently, the Heritage Humane Society found itself in a microchip mystery. Two beautiful buff beauties escaped from their cat sitter on the other side of the James River just before Thanksgiving. Over the following weeks, the two were mysteriously placed in a box with five others and ended up at an animal shelter in a neighboring county.

Following guidelines, the shelter placed cats on a ten-day stray/lost hold if owners filed a missing pet report. Both cats were microchipped, however, they were not registered meaning the microchips only had the owner’s name, but no contact information, so could not reach the shelter. When the ten-day hold expired and no pets were reported missing, by law both were available for adoption because they were unclaimed. The shelter, overflowing with pets, called other area shelters, asking if anyone had room. The Heritage Humane Society answered the call and accepted the transfer of some of their pets, including two cats that helped reduce overcrowding.

A cat was placed in foster care whose fosters wanted to adopt the cat. Another was adopted. The shelter updated new pets’ microchips and registered new cat owners as part of the adoption process. What happened next was that the previous owner contacted the microchip company, who revealed that her cat had been adopted from The Heritage Humane Society. The previous owner took to social media and soon the local pet-loving community began helping him locate the cat. The new owners understood the situation and while they were quickly connected, they returned the cat so the previous owner could claim it with the one in foster care.

How Microchips Help Disappear

The story is one of a committed animal care community that leads to a reunion. It’s also an opportunity for the shelter to share some helpful tips about microchipping and what to do if a pet goes missing.

Every cat and dog adopted by the Heritage Humane Society comes with a microchip. Through the adoption process, staff go over it with new owners and teach them how to reach the microchip company if they ever move to update their contact information. If a pet goes missing, if it’s microchipped with the correct information, anyone who finds the missing pet can take it to an animal shelter or veterinarian’s office that has it. The pet can then be scanned to find the owner. Regardless, if a pet goes missing, owners are encouraged to file a lost pet report with their local shelter.

For pets that have not been adopted from a shelter or that have not been microchipped, this is a simple procedure that can be done by a veterinarian. Microchips are only effective if they are registered with the owner’s name and contact information; They are not GPS devices that track pets.

The Heritage Humane Society recommends:

  • Have a current photo of the pet.
  • Have contact information for local animal shelters and animal control like this Heritage Humane Society Contact List.
  • Microchip the pet and be sure to register the microchip number with the manufacturer so the pet can be matched with the owner.
  • Fit the pet’s collar tightly enough so it won’t easily slip over their head and include an identification tag with the owner’s contact information in addition to the rabies tag.

If a pet goes missing, The Heritage Humane Society recommends:

  • Submit a Report a lost pet online With a local shelter and include a recent photo of the pet.
  • Post on social media pages. Many areas have set up Facebook pages for local lost pets. In the Greater Williamsburg area, there is Lost and Found Pets – Williamsburg/Upper YC/JCC/New Kent/Charles City.
  • Print flyers and share them with pet-related businesses such as pet supply stores, veterinary offices, groomers, local police, and fire departments. Include a photo of the pet and a description including breed, age, weight, color, and special identifying features. Also, list contact information and the date and area where the pet was last seen.
  • If the pet is microchipped and registered in the database, notify the company that the pet is missing.
  • Warn neighbors and area residents.
  • Once a pet is found, remember to share the good news with others and on social media so the search ends.

Pets accepted

The shelter is full of homeless pets who are as desperate for a forever home as the contact information on their microchips. About 170 dogs, Cats And Small pets Currently under their care. Adoptable pets are available on Tuesdays from 12-4:30pm during The Heritage Humane Society’s visiting and adoption hours. through the sun.

Heritage Humane Society Donations are welcome. Including pet adoption fee sponsorship as provided by The Wes Strong Foundation.

To learn more, visit HeritageHumane.orgCall 757-221-0150, or visit The Heritage Humane Society at 430 Waller Mill Rd, Williamsburg, VA 23185.


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