When Melissa Eggert’s beloved cat Harlan became lost, she was unsure he would ever be found.
“In the last week of September 2016, Harlan went missing,” Melissa recalls. “Three weeks passed, and we were worried about him. There were coyotes sighted in the neighborhood and I began to think the worst.”
That is, until a month later, he was found and returned safely to her home, unscathed. Melissa believes Harlan may not have been so lucky if it weren’t for his microchip.
“The day before Thanksgiving, I received a phone call from the Humane Society stating that Harlan was at the shelter. He ended up in the Glenside area; I live in Hampden Heights! If he hadn’t had that microchip, I seriously doubt that I would have ever seen Harlan again.”
More than 10 million pets are lost each year, and one out of three pets will be lost during its lifetime. However, only one in ten lost pets is ever reunited with their original families. Many of those lost pets face death in shelters across the country. Thanks to microchipping, more and more lost pets are finding their way back to their homes.
A microchip is a tiny computer chip programmed with a unique identification number and implanted beneath an animal’s skin that can then be scanned for contact information if and when a lost pet is found.
“Microchips are permanent and can’t be lost, altered or destroyed,” says Jennifer Wiese, lead veterinary technician at Humane Veterinary Hospitals (HVH). “Pet owners have been reunited with chipped pets that have been missing for years or that have traveled thousands of miles. It’s important to microchip your pet early and ensure all of your contact information is up to date.”
Dr. Misha Neumann, veterinarian at HVH, says microchipping has other benefits as well. “It qualifies your dog to receive a lifetime license in the state of Pennsylvania, and some companies even offer memberships that may cover the cost of transportation if a lost pet is found over long distances.”
HVH Lancaster and Reading provide microchip services by appointment. The procedure is painless and takes as little as ten minutes. For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit hvhospitals.org or contact your preferred HVH location: HVH Lancaster at 717-826-9762 or HVH Reading at 610-921-8387.
If you have lost or found a pet, please report it to Humane Pennsylvania immediately. File a report online at humanepa.org/services/lost-and-found, or call your preferred shelter location: Humane League of Lancaster County at 717-393-6551 or Humane Society of Berks County at 610-921-2348.