Niki Congero: Why microchipping pets is a good idea (opinion) |

Niki Congero: Why microchipping pets is a good idea (opinion)

Niki Congero
Tribune Opinion Columnist
Delano is a 1-year-old, very active, male Poodle mix. He needs a busy home and some training classes. Come visit Delano at The El Dorado County Animal Services, 530-573-7925. For spay-neuter services and other support, call the Lake Tahoe Humane Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals at 530-542-2857. Hunter, last week’s pet of the week, is still looking for his forever home.
Courtesy Photo |

Dear Henry,

What are your thoughts on microchipping your pets?

Thank you,


“Microchipping works by providing your information such as name, address and phone number to a vet’s or other qualified office, so that they may notify you directly if your pet is found.”

Dear Arthur,

Very good question! Just last week we were able to return a dog that had been stolen because it was microchipped. We located the dog and, because we were able to verify the legal owner via the microchip, it made getting the dog back to his owner a much easier process.

Pet owners who are concerned that their furry companion may go missing often choose to have their pets microchipped. Microchipping provides an extra level of security that goes beyond your pet’s identification collar. The procedure is conducted in the veterinarian’s office or in some cases clinics done at pet stores; microchipping is a simple procedure with no anesthesia required. Veterinarians consider it to be the same pain as a small injection to the pet.

Microchipping works by providing your information such as name, address and phone number to a vet’s or other qualified office, so that they may notify you directly if your pet is found. The office will use a scanner, much like a price checker in a grocery store, to gather this information from the microchip. Regardless of the brand of microchip that you use, it’s important to register your most updated information directly with the company.

Owners that have chosen to have their pets microchipped can enjoy peace of mind that their animal is more likely to be returned to them should they go missing. According to the Journal of American Veterinarian Medical Association, “7,700 stray animals at animal shelters showed that dogs without microchips were returned to their owners 21.9 percent of the time … microchipped dogs were returned to their owners 52.2 percent of the time. Cats without microchips were reunited with their owners only 1.8 percent of the time … microchipped cats went back home 38.5 percent of the time.”

The cost of microchipping your pet can be very affordable; check with your vet, or with local pet stores to see if they have a vaccination or microchipping clinics for complete pricing information.

It is very important to know that microchipping does not replace the need for an identification tag and collar on your pet. Collars and ID tags provide the first line of defense should a pet go missing.

Hopeful Henry is a column managed by Niki Congero, executive director of Lake Tahoe Humane Society & S.P.C.A. Submit questions or letters via e-mail to or by mail to P.O. Box PET South Lake Tahoe, CA 96158. For more information, visit, or

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