Myth #1: Microchipping hurts and requires surgery or anesthesia.
Fact #1: Busted!
A microchip is about the size of an uncooked grain of rice and is injected under loose skin, usually between the shoulder blades. The microchip is inserted by means of a sterile applicator like a needle. This doesn’t hurt anymore than vaccines do! While you do want to use caution and check the microchip site from time to time to make sure there aren’t issues, most pets don’t even notice it afterward.
Myth #2: My pet wears a collar and has an ID tag so they don’t need a microchip.
Fact #2: Give yourself extra piece of mind; tags and IDs can come off.
Many cats – and dogs! – can find ways to wrangle out of their collars or lose ID tags. Having that information visibly displayed on them doesn’t hurt, though please remember to use break-away collars for your cats since they have a tendency to snag their collars and risk choking. But having that visible ID PLUS a microchip ensures that even if your pet is found without their ID tags on, they can be scanned and returned to you.
Myth #3: Microchips are tracking devices and you can use GPS to find your pet.
Fact #3: Busted!
Microchips store information, which is why our lifetime registration is so invaluable because you will never have to pay a company monthly or annual fees again to keep your info on the microchip. If your pet becomes lost, what the microchip does is allow the pet to be scanned, and then your name, address, and contact information will come up so the veterinarian or shelter can contact you regarding your found pet.
Because of this, you also don’t have to worry about the microchip losing battery life or power. It is a radio-frequency identification (RFID) and so there is no battery to charge. Since there isn’t a power source, microchips are designed to last the lifetime of your pet.
Myth #4: I adopted from a shelter and they microchipped my pet so we’re all set.
Fact #4: Make sure to check the registration!
The policies of shelters and microchips vary depending on what they can afford and what corporations they’re partnered with. You might be surprised to learn your pet is still registered to the shelter you adopted from and the microchip was never transferred to you! You can see who your pet is registered to by contacting the company you received information about or by searching online, like at https://www.petmicrochiplookup.org/
At the SPCA of Hancock County, thanks to an amazing grant from the Bissell Foundation, we are able to offer our adopters lifetime microchip registration at the time of adoption. This is the case for all animals that have been in our care and adopted since June 2020. Before that, though, we did not have the Bissell Foundation grant, so for adopters pre-June 2020, you may want to follow up with the company information we gave you at the time of adoption to see where your pet’s registration is. If you find your pet’s information is out of date or you are tired of paying annual fees, just call us at 207-667-8088 and for a recommended donation of $20, we can switch your pet over to the lifetime registration – no additional microchipping needed!