(SCHAUMBURG, Illinois) August 12, 2013— Microchips provide a fast, easy way to reunite lost or stolen pets with their owners but the chip is only as good as the information it contains. Created by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), the 2013 inaugural Check the Chip Day reminds pet owners to take time to ensure that the contact information associated with their pet’s microchip is up to date.
"Microchip identification dramatically increases the odds that your pet will be returned to you if it is lost, but the chip won't work if it isn't registered with current contact information," says Clark K. Fobian, DVM, president of the AVMA. "Pet owners must remember to register their pet's identification chip and keep that registration current. It just might save your pet's life."
For pet owners who have not microchipped their pet, Check the Chip Day is a good time to make an appointment with their veterinarian to have their pet microchipped. Microchip identifications are imbedded just under the skin of an animal and reveal a serial number when scanned.
Contact information for the pet's owner is then registered to that serial number in a service database that shelter staff and veterinarians can use to locate an animal's owners should the animal become lost.
"Forgetting to register a microchip with the correct contact information is like having a cell phone without a phone number – you may as well not have a microchip," says Michael Cavanaugh, DVM, DABVP, CEO of AAHA. "In our portable society, people move frequently and if they have outdated contact information, it may be difficult to track down a pet owner's current address. AAHA encourages pet owners to make updating their microchip information a regular part of their moving routine. While it is important to microchip your pet, it is just as important to be sure the contact information on the microchip is up to date."
The AAHA Universal Pet Microchip Lookup Tool is a free, web-based resource that can assist with microchip identification – the tool helps reunite pets and owners by checking the registries of participating pet recovery services to determine with which registry the chip is registered. The tool can be used by pet owners and veterinarians alike – however, pet owners are unable to update their chip's contact information through the service. They must contact the pet recovery service with which their chip is registered in order to do so.
Visit Check the Chip Day for more information. For more information about the AVMA, please visit www.avma.org. For more information about AAHA, please visit www.aahanet.org.