Not so long ago, one of our nurses received a phone call to say that her dog had been found. Zeus had been mischievously led astray from home by his little doggy friend who she had been looking after. Like many dogs, Zeus has very sensitive skin and thus rarely wears a collar while at home. Luckily Zeus' doggy friend Polly had a collar and tag, and it was through the contact details on the tag that our very worried nurse eventually received the phone call to say the dogs had been found.
Zeus was lucky; although he did not have any external form of identification, our passerby did not take this to mean that he was a stray dog to be taken on and adopted into their own home. Instead, both dogs were brought in to Vetwest and reunited with his relieved mum. Even if Zeus had been found on his own and taken to any other veterinary clinic, he would still have been reunited with his mum through the details registered to his microchip.
If you do find a lost dog or cat with no obvious signs of identification, please give them the best chance of being reunited with their family by taking him or her to the closest veterinary clinic. One of the first things the vet clinic team will do is scan the animal for the presence of a microchip in the hope that they will be able to contact their owners. Almost all of the time if someone has lost their furry friend, one of the first places they will call are the vet clinics around their area to see if they have been brought in. Remember that worried owners will have no idea and no way to contact you if you take in a dog or cat that belongs to someone.
Collars and tags can be good forms of identification as members of the general public may be able to give you a call if they find your pet. However, we know that like Zeus, many dogs have sensitive skin and therefore may not be able to wear a collar permanently. In addition collars may be caught on things like fences and trees and come off if your dog or cat goes on an adventure, or is spooked and escapes. In fact, many cat collars are designed to come apart at the catch when a moderate amount of force is applied (to reduce the chance of injury to the cat if the collar gets caught). Microchipping is a great option - it is relatively inexpensive, registration is for life, it is permanent and it is quick and easy to do. It is also easy to update your address and contact numbers should you move to a new home, even across the country.
So please, if you have a much loved moggy or doggy of your own, please help us find you should your pet ever manage to escape and is brought in to a veterinary clinic by getting them microchipped.