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Friday, May 12, 2006

Chipping Tips

If you've been following the Bogey saga, and have rejoiced in his safe (if tick-ridden) return, you should know that his "dad," Stan Pinder, has informed me that to the family's shock, he didn't have the microchip that they believed had been installed.

"They charged me and stuck a needle in his back in front of me but did not scan him to ensure that it was there and working," Stan Pinder wrote. "I didn't know about these things as I have never bought a dog before. I've always rescued one."

A vet scanned Bogey's whole body and no chip turned up. They even did x-rays, and found no chip.

"I was livid!!" said Stan.

The lesson here is that you should insist on having the chip scanned in front of you after installation. If you have any doubt about whether your pet is chipped, take him/her to the vet and have a scan.

But there's a second part to the chipping process: registering the number. And here I give you the thoughts of a blog reader who sent the following:

"I work for one of the major microchip companies, in the recovery department. I CANNOT EXPRESS STRONGLY ENOUGH how important it is for those people out there who have their pets chipped to make sure they are registered. For the most part, registration is separate from the implanting and does require a one-time, minimal for a lifetime membership.

"DO NOT assume that your vet, or the Humane Society where you may have gotten your dog, does this for you. I cannot tell you how many times I have had someone call to update their information only to find that they have never been registered. We have had people say that their vet told them it was not necessary since the information is at the vet. But, most animals are not considerate of the hours that vets work and tend to get lost at all hours of the day and night, not to mention that if someone were to find your pet and wanted to keep him, if there is no registered owner, they CAN register that chip.

"So PLEASE, if anyone reading this has a microchipped pet and has any doubts about whether they are registered or not, call and find out! It is also important the vets and the shelters tell people that they need to register.

"If you are given paperwork, READ IT ALL. The chip companies have brochures that have registration information and applications to register in them. DO NOT toss anything into a drawer before reading!

"I hope this helps spread the word. Thanks from a customer service rep!"

Oh no-- thank YOU, Mr. or Ms. Customer Service Rep, for the valuable tips.

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