One in three pets will go missing in their lifetime. This year alone, millions of pets across the country will be lost. May is National Chip Your Pet Month, which highlights one of the best tools to ensure lost pets are quickly and safely reunited with their families: microchips.
San Diego Humane Society admitted nearly 32,000 companion animals to its shelters last year. In addition to caring for homeless and stray animals, the organization is focused on addressing the reasons animals end up in the shelter in the first place. To help with this, it offers a range of community support services to provide people with the tools and resources they need to keep and care for their pets — such as free pet food and supplies, training resources, access to veterinary care and more.
Microchipping services are a key part of that. In addition to microchipping every cat and dog they adopt out, SDHS offers low-cost microchips for pets at its Escondido, San Diego and Oceanside Campuses. Expanding community resources — whether for microchips or support services for pet families in need — is a priority for SDHS. “Our goal is to make tools and resources for caring for animals as accessible as possible to the people who need them,” said Gary Weitzman, SDHS president and CEO.
Microchips provide permanent identification by injecting a small chip, about the size of a grain of rice, beneath a pet’s skin. The scannable chip is associated with the owner’s contact information, ensuring they can be reached quickly if their pet is found.
Unfortunately, of the millions of pets that go missing annually, only a small fraction are reunited with their families. Microchips, as well as always having a collar and tag on your pets, can dramatically increase this number, ensuring more pets return home.
With so many experiencing changes in their routines as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, there is no better time to have your pet microchipped and ensure they have a collar with current information on their tag. “Think of a microchip as a digital leash,” said SDHS Chief Operating Officer Jessica Des Lauriers. “With society opening up, more people are moving around and having visitors, increasing the risk of a pet getting lost. July Fourth is just around the corner too, when we typically see many pets frightened by fireworks run away, so now is really the time to make sure your pet is protected.”
Currently, when a stray animal is found by a Humane Officer or good Samaritan, their microchip can be scanned at a shelter or veterinary office — and the owner quickly contacted.
To help ensure your pet never goes missing, make an appointment to microchip your pet at an SDHS campus, visit sdhumane.org/microchip.