Kevin gets his microchip checked at Pet Pangaea. Courtesy photo
BY CYNDI WELLS
Pet Pangaea LLC
Just this week, Pet Pangaea LLC received an early morning phone call about a dog who was found roaming and who was not wearing a collar so there was no identification tag. The Good Samaritan was trying to locate their owner. Pet store owner Cyndi Wells opened up the store for the dog to get scanned for a microchip. This situation had a great ending: the dog had a microchip, the information was current with the microchip registry, the owner was contacted, and the dog was soon picked up. Unfortunately, lost pet situations seem to increase during the holiday season when schedules are disrupted. House guests may inadvertently leave a latch unsecured. Pet Pangaea LLC has a microchip reader to help get found pets returned home quickly. Pet Pangaea urges owners to ensure that their pet has one form of identification and, preferably, at least two: an identification tag and a microchip.
As store owner Cyndi explains, “Years ago, I thought it would be a great idea to have a microchip reader at the store as many pets are found outside of our shelter’s hours. So, Pet Pangaea bought a microchip reader and we have had the privilege of reuniting many owners with their pets quickly. My own dog Hana, who inspired Pet Pangaea, once escaped through a bathroom window while I was at work. I know how frightening a missing pet situation can be. Luckily, my dog had been picked up and was safe at shelter. She was wearing her collar with an ID tag and I was contacted. But, just the half-hour between realizing she was missing and locating her was scary.”
According to Animal Humane, each year, approximately 10 million pets are lost in the United States. Millions of these lost pets end up in animal shelters. Only about 15 percent of dogs and 2 percent of cats without identification tags or microchips get reunited with their owners. Many pets found roaming were indoor pets who managed to get out, so even indoor pets need a form of identification.
What is a pet microchip? A microchip is a radio-frequency identification, or RFID, device. The microchip does not store a pet owner’s phone number or name, but it stores a number that is unique to the pet. A microchip is not a tracking device. If your pet gets lost, a microchip won’t tell you where your pet has gone. However, any facility with a microchip reader might be able to help a pet get back home. The unique number is linked through a registry to the pet owner’s contact information. When a pet is found, the number can be looked up in an online database and the registry can alert the pet’s owner. A veterinarian can insert a microchip under the skin of your pet.
This technology has proven to be successful in returning lost pets, but it’s imperative that pet parents keep the microchip registry information up to date. If the phone numbers associated with the microchip number in the registry no longer work, it can be challenging to contact the owner.
If you are not sure who to contact about your pet’s microchip information, Pet Pangaea LLC offers a free “chip check”. Bring a pet to Pet Pangaea LLC anytime the store is open and the store will check to make sure the microchip is functioning and provide the information that is necessary for the owner to contact the registry for any updates. Cyndi noted, “Microchips themselves rarely fail. In my experience, the most likely failure point in a microchip getting a pet back home is because the contact information in the registry is no longer valid or the microchip was never properly registered.”
Pet I.D. tags also help! When pet parents bring their pet to Pet Pangaea for a chip check, they can also visit the pet ID tag section. There are many options in engraved tags. Additionally, Pet Pangaea offers QR tags that allows for pet owners to update their location, which can come in handy during holiday travel with your pet when your location is changing.
For more information on Pet Pangaea LLC, please visit their website at www.petpangaea.com or call 505-661-1010. The store is located at 158 Central Park Square in Los Alamos and is open 7 days a week.