(SCHAUMBURG, Illinois) August 14, 2023—Statistics show that one in three pets will become lost at some point during their lives, but cats and dogs with registered microchips are much more likely to experience a happy reunion with their loving families.
National Check the Chip Day, observed annually on August 15, reminds pet owners about the importance of microchipping your pets and ensuring that the microchip registration information is up to date.
“An unregistered microchip is like a lighthouse with no light; its potential to guide is lost," said Dr. Rena Carlson, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). “On National Check the Chip Day, I’m urging all pet owners to take the simple yet crucial step of ensuring your pets’ chips are registered with updated contact information. It's a small and simple act that can make the difference between despair and a joyful reunion with your beloved pets.”
Owners can contact their veterinarian for registration information or go to PetMicrochipLookup.org and access the Universal Pet Microchip Lookup Tool provided by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). The tool allows users to enter a microchip code and directs them to participating microchip registries associated with that microchip’s number and manufacturer. All registries should be updated as needed.
In 2013, the AVMA teamed up with AAHA to establish Check the Chip Day and encourage pet owners to update their microchip registration, or to microchip and register their pets if they haven’t already done so. The AVMA has also partnered with lost pet recovery service HomeAgain to create resources for pet owners showing the importance of registered microchips through lost pet statistics and reunion stories, and contribute to AVMA’s Check the Chip Day Toolkit for veterinarians. This toolkit includes downloadable in-practice resources and creative ideas to help educate clients about the importance of microchips and keeping the associated data up to date.
An estimated 10 million dogs and cats are lost or stolen in the United States every year. In a study published by the Journal of the AVMA, research revealed that only 22 percent of lost dogs entering shelters were returned to their families, but that percentage rose to more than 52 percent when a dog was microchipped.
Even better results were attained in the feline population. One in 50 cats in animal shelters was returned to their owners, but when microchipped nearly two out of five cats were reunited with their families, the study stated.
Unfortunately, only about six in 10 microchips in pets are registered, an oversight that could prevent lost pets from returning home to their families.
“Any veterinarian will implant a pet microchip for you; the procedure is simple and does not require an anesthetic,” Dr. Carlson said. “When the chip is scanned, embedded codes are used to retrieve the contact information of the pet owners. If the pet is lost, a reunion will follow—if the contact information is current.”
To learn more about pets and microchips, visit AVMA.org/CheckTheChip.
For more information, contact Michael San Filippo, AVMA media relations manager, 847-732-6194 (cell/text) or msanfilippoavma [dot] org (msanfilippo[at]avma[dot]org).