Q: My boyfriend and I adopted a kitten from the shelter. They gave her a microchip before we took her home. Is this standard procedure now? We plan to keep her inside.
~ P.W., Farragut
A: First, thank you for adopting! There are so many dogs and cats at our shelters that need a permanent home and family.
Yes, microchips are standard at many shelters now (assuming they are large enough and have the funding). The shelters closest to Farragut, Knox County and Loudon County both microchip dogs and cats before they leave the shelter.
The microchip is a permanent means of identification for your new kitten. It is quite small, approximately the size of a grain of rice and contains a unique alphanumeric sequence. The chips are inserted with a needle between the shoulder blades just underneath the skin. Most microchip companies also provide a plastic or metal tag that can be worn on the pet’s collar, as an outward sign to other pet owners, veterinarians and shelter staff that the pet has a microchip.
The microchip number is enrolled into a computerized database along with your contact information, description of the pet and veterinary contact information. It is important to remember to keep the information current and updated if you move. If a lost/stray pet is found, your local shelter or veterinary clinic will use a microchip scanner to detect if a chip is present. If a chip is present, the identification number is revealed. By accessing the computer databases, the pet owner and pet can then be reunited. It’s been estimated that microchips have enabled more than two million pets to be reunited with their families.
Even if you plan to keep your kitten indoors, there is never a guarantee that she won’t accidently get outside and become lost. The odds of finding her are better since she has a microchip. Congratulations and thank you again for adopting.
If you have questions about your pet, you may e-mail them to Dr. Stephanie Myers at lenoircityac@gmailcom