Microchipped pets returned home three out of four times

Microchipped pets returned home three out of four times

Oct 14, 2009
By dvm360.com staff
National Report -- If a pet is lost and has a microchip, there is a good chance it will be reunited with its owner, according to a recent study published in the Journal of American Veterinary Medicine.

Fifty-three shelters in 23 states participated in a study, which revealed that shelter officials were able to find the owners of lost microchipped pets in nearly three out of four cases.

“This is the first time there has been good data about the success of shelters finding the owners of pets with microchips,” says Linda Lord, lead author of the study and an assistant professor of veterinary preventive medicine at The Ohio State University.

“In the study, the biggest reason owners couldn’t be found was because of an incorrect or disconnected phone number in the registration database,” Lord says. “The chip is only as good as my ability as a pet owner to keep my information up to date in the registry.”

Microchipped cats were returned to owners 20 times more often than non-microchipped cats. Dogs that were microchipped were 2.5 times more likely to be returned to their owners than non-microchipped dogs.

Incorrect or disconnected phone numbers, owners not returning calls or answering letters, unregistered microchips and microchips registered to a database that differed from the manufacturer were the main reasons owners were not found, according to the study.

While Lord says this data shows the importance of microchipping, she adds that nothing replaces the need for a collar and tag with the pet’s name and owner’s phone number.