Charle Thibodeau
Special to the Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO

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December 27, 2012
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Microchip your pet in case it becomes lost

We were called out to a client's house to vaccinate a new dog they had rescued. "Rambo" was discovered at the local Denny's Restaurant, curled up on a coat with a bowl of water in the foyer of the restaurant. Apparently someone dropped him there and told the hostess to find him a home.

When our pet-loving clients noticed the little guy was still there upon their departure from the restaurant, they questioned the hostess on his status. Upon learning of his circumstance, our clients took him home. An older, small Jack Russell Terrier with a quiet disposition, Rambo immediately bonded with the family and seemed quite content in his new environment.

During our initial examination of Rambo, we discovered that he had a microchip.

Microchips are a form of identification that can be extremely beneficial if your pet ever becomes lost. This small chip, usually administered by a veterinarian or qualified technician, is approximately the size of a large grain of rice.

It is inserted under the skin on the back of an animals' neck and can be placed in practically any animal, including dogs, cats, horses, birds and reptiles.

When determining if an animal has a microchip, a special instrument is scanned over the area to verify if a chip is present. The instrument will display a tracking number that is used to obtain the owner's contact information.

Typically the phone number of the corresponding microchip company will also be displayed. Microchip companies house the database for client contact information, and most are accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

When we discovered Rambo had a microchip, we contacted his rightful owner.

The owner lived in a small town in Utah. Rambo apparently liked to wander down to the local diner where the staff kept him well fed. It was determined that someone traveling through the area must have picked Rambo up at the diner. For whatever reason, they dropped him at the Denny's Restaurant in Grand Junction.

To make a long story short, the owner could no longer care for Rambo adequately and relinquished him to our clients. He is now quite happy in his new home and has no desire to wander off. We subsequently registered Rambo's new owner contact information through the microchip database company.

Most veterinary clinics, animal control facilities and shelters have microchip scanners to determine if an animal has been chipped. This simple, inexpensive procedure is extremely beneficial for reuniting lost pets with their owners.

Even if your pet is not necessarily a wanderer, unforeseeable circumstances can occur where you might lose your best friend.

Collars with identification tags are always recommended; however they can easily come off or be removed. A microchip is a permanent source of identification.

While this procedure is not necessarily a guarantee of a safe return if your pet becomes lost, any reputable facility is ethically required to contact the rightful owner.

Advanced technology is offering GPS tracking located in these small chips.

Undoubtedly, in the not too distant future, there will be an app for your smart phone to track your pet's global position. Perhaps there already is - I am unaware of this, however, as I still am using a dumb phone.


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The Post Independent Updated Dec 27, 2012 01:06AM Published Dec 27, 2012 01:05AM Copyright 2012 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.