Microchip technology helps find lost pets

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A microchip can link pets to their ownersLost pets can cause distress to second-graders, businessmen and shelter owners alike. Aside from the emotional vacancy the pet leaves, missing animals cause a pet care burden to shelters which are already overpopulated with homeless cats and dogs. The good news is a new study has found that cats that are placed in animal shelters are 20 times more likely to be returned to their owners if they have been implanted with a microchip.

Linda Lord of Ohio State University visited 53 shelters in 23 states from August 2007 until March 2008, and found that less than 2 percent of admitted animals had a microchip on them.

However, 29 percent of cats with microchips were returned to their owners, compared to 2 percent without the chips. For dogs, 52 percent of those with chips were returned compared to 21 percent without the technology.

"Hopefully, this study will help the public become more aware of how important microchipping is," said Jill Lee, executive director of the Cat Welfare Association. "It’s a very simple thing to have done."

According to the U.S. Humane Society, the chips, which are the size of a grain of rice, contain a number that is revealed after the microchip is scanned. A shelter worker can then enter the number into a registry to obtain the pet owner’s information.

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