Humane Society’s microchip program offers return of lost pets

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 29, 2004

An injectable microchip now available at the Shelby County Humane Society may allow pet owners to rest easier if they ever lose a furry friend.

During a new procedure offered at the Humane Society, a microchip about the size of a grain of rice is injected into the fat between the shoulders of pets.

A nationwide system uses the microchip to allow pet owners to locate pets when they are lost.

The universal microchip enables all shelters and vet clinics to identify animals and reunite them with their owners.

When a lost animal implanted with the microchip is brought into a shelter or clinic, a scanning device reads the microchip encoded with a number.

The number is entered into a nationwide database containing the pet owner’s name and phone number.

Nationwide, up to 4,000 pets are recovered each month as a result of Shering-Plough’s &uot;Home Again&uot; microchipping system.

Shering-Plough is an animal health corporation that is providing the Shelby County Humane Society with the microchips.

Pamela May, a veterinarian with Shering-Plough, said the process of implanting the microchip is quick, safe and similar to administering a vaccine.

Paige Phillips, executive director of the Shelby County Humane Society, said she hopes the microchipping procedure will help free shelter space for animals.

&uot;If we can find homes for them, it would be a lot easier,&uot; Phillips said.

Shelby Humane Society takes in almost 10,000 animals annually.

About 80 percent of those are strays, and only 12 to 15 percent are reunited with owners, according to Phillips.

&uot;They belong to somebody,&uot; she said.

The Shelby County Humane Society will hold microchipping clinics every Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at a cost of $24. The fee includes the cost of registration with the national database