One important takeaway from the relief efforts post Hurricane Harvey, was how necessary microchips were for reuniting missing pets with their owners.
Microchips are as common as two meals a day for any animal shelter once an animal is part of the system. With the influx of adopting animals, microchips have become a mandatory part of the intake process for taking in new shelter animals prior to adoption.
So, how exactly do microchips work in making sure a pet is reunited with its owner if lost?
Here is a simple overview of the chip and the process:
The microchip itself, which is about the size of a grain of rice, is a radio-frequency ID transponder made up of a few components encased in a capsule of bio-glass for implantation.
The microchip stores a unique, individual ID number that is directly linked with the pet owner’s information for immediate contact. This information is registered with a microchip company on the day the pet is inserted with the chip.
In order to obtain this number, a microchip scanner designed to read the number, is scanned across the pet to read the signal. (Most chips are inserted in an animal at the back of neck between the shoulder blades).
Once the microchip number is found, the microchip registry is called for further details. The registry company is able to look up the individual ID number and retrieve the owner’s contact information. The information is stored in a universal pet recovery database.
Today, there are numerous microchip companies for pets, all of which share the same index information so any of them can find a pet’s information if called. Majority of shelters and vets own global scanners that are able to read the pet’s ID number, no matter where the dog was registered through initially.