• 1.

    Lord LK, Pennell ML, Ingwersen W, et al. In vitro sensitivity of commercial scanners to microchips of various frequencies. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2008;233:17231728.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 2.

    Lord LK, Pennell ML, Ingwersen W, et al. Sensitivity of commercial scanners to microchips of various frequencies implanted in dogs and cats. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2008;233:17291735.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 3.

    AVMA. Microchipping of animals. AVMA Web site. Available at: www.avma.org/issues/microchipping/microchipping_bgnd.asp. Accessed Sep 12, 2008.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 4.

    Kahler SC. House of delegates acts on resolution. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2008;233:688,690,699.

  • 5.

    Lord LK, Wittum TE, Ferketich AK, et al. Search and identification methods that owners use to find a lost dog. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2007;230:211216.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 6.

    Europetnet. Europetnet Web site. Available at: www.europetnet.com/Home.aspx. Accessed Sep 14, 2008.

Characterization of animals with microchips entering animal shelters

Linda K. Lord DVM, PhD1, Walter Ingwersen DVM, DVSc, DACVIM2, Janet L. Gray DVM, MS3, and David J. Wintz BS4
View More View Less
  • 1 Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210.
  • | 2 Boehringer Ingelheim Canada Ltd, Vetmedica Division, 5180 S Service Rd, Burlington, ON L7L 5H4, Canada.
  • | 3 17118 43rd Terrace NE, Redmond, WA 98052.
  • | 4 Larimer Humane Society, 5137 S College Ave, Fort Collins, CO 80525.

Abstract

Objective—To characterize animals with microchips entering animal shelters and the process used to find owners.

Design—Cross-sectional study.

Animals—7,704 microchipped animals entering 53 animal shelters between August 2007 and March 2008.

Procedures—Data for animals with microchips were recorded by participating animal shelters and reported monthly.

Results—Of 7,704 animals, strays accounted for slightly more than half (4,083 [53.0%]), with the remainder classified as owner-relinquished animals (3,225 [41.9%]) and other (396 [5.1%]). Of 3,425 stray animals for which animal shelters reported that the owner was found, a higher percentage of dog owners (2,191/2,956 [74.1%]) than cat owners (298/469 [63.5%]) was found. For 876 animals for which the owners could not be found, the main reasons were incorrect or disconnected telephone number (310 [35.4%]), owner did not return telephone calls or respond to a letter (213 [24.3%]), and animal was registered to another group (151 [17.2%]). Of 1,943 animals for which animal shelters contacted a microchip registry, 1,129 (58.1%) were registered in the database. Purebred neutered dogs whose owner information was in the shelter database registry or microchip registry had a higher likelihood that the owners would be found.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The high rate for return of microchipped dogs and cats to their owners supported microchipping as a valuable permanent pet identification modality; however, issues related to registration undermined its overall potential. Bundling of microchip implantation and registration, point-of-implantation data registration, use of annual compliance and update reminders, and providing access to all registries are potential solutions.

Abstract

Objective—To characterize animals with microchips entering animal shelters and the process used to find owners.

Design—Cross-sectional study.

Animals—7,704 microchipped animals entering 53 animal shelters between August 2007 and March 2008.

Procedures—Data for animals with microchips were recorded by participating animal shelters and reported monthly.

Results—Of 7,704 animals, strays accounted for slightly more than half (4,083 [53.0%]), with the remainder classified as owner-relinquished animals (3,225 [41.9%]) and other (396 [5.1%]). Of 3,425 stray animals for which animal shelters reported that the owner was found, a higher percentage of dog owners (2,191/2,956 [74.1%]) than cat owners (298/469 [63.5%]) was found. For 876 animals for which the owners could not be found, the main reasons were incorrect or disconnected telephone number (310 [35.4%]), owner did not return telephone calls or respond to a letter (213 [24.3%]), and animal was registered to another group (151 [17.2%]). Of 1,943 animals for which animal shelters contacted a microchip registry, 1,129 (58.1%) were registered in the database. Purebred neutered dogs whose owner information was in the shelter database registry or microchip registry had a higher likelihood that the owners would be found.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The high rate for return of microchipped dogs and cats to their owners supported microchipping as a valuable permanent pet identification modality; however, issues related to registration undermined its overall potential. Bundling of microchip implantation and registration, point-of-implantation data registration, use of annual compliance and update reminders, and providing access to all registries are potential solutions.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Ingwersen is a consultant for PetHealth Inc, the parent company of 24PetWatch.

Address correspondence to Dr. Lord.