Check your chip

I love my job of being the spokesdog for animals all over middle Georgia. In my role with my nonprofit animal welfare group, Central Georgia CARES, I promote spay and neuter, adoption of wonderful shelter pets, eliminating euthanasia of healthy pets and promoting humane education.

But I must share that one of my most trying tasks is attempting to locate lost pets and searching for families of found pets. Unless you’ve done it on a regular basis it’s hard to understand the emotion that accompanies the task.

Knowing a lost pet is in danger from so many different things — whether it’s traffic, predators, weather or starvation — increases the stress of the doing the job expeditiously. I continually search for the pet day and night and am consumed with finding the pet or the parents.

Of course, preventing pets from being lost in the first place is the ultimate goal. It does seem to me that we have an inordinate amount of lost pets in our area. We should all strive to employ safety measures to keep pets from getting lost.

Keeping dogs inside a fenced yard whether it’s a traditional fence or an invisible fence is important. Keeping cats inside all them time is vital not only to their safety but to their health as well.

Having dogs on leashes and wearing martingale collars when outside of their fenced yards is important, too. Dogs are just too smart for a regular collar and need the martingale collar that’s designed to prevent backing out.

An inexpensive identification tag can make the difference between reuniting a pet with his family or not. There are pets sitting in shelters now because they have on a collar but no ID tag. You can also write your information on the collar with a waterproof sharpie.

Getting your pet microchipped is very important. That’s a permanent way to identify your pet if he’s lost or stolen.

But we’ve seen a concerning trend lately with microchips. We’ve found several pets recently that are actually chipped but the chip was never registered with the company who can connect a lost pet with his family. So in these cases the microchip was not helpful.

Imagine the emotional rollercoaster of everyone searching for the family of a found pet discovering upon scanning him that he is chipped only to be disappointed to learn the chip has no information connected with it.

So here’s the takeaway from today’s article. If your pet is already microchipped have any veterinarian’s office scan him for free to confirm your information is connected to the chip.

Please don’t take for granted the group that chipped your pet registered the information with the microchip company. You may have to do that yourself but it’s certainly important to find out right away. So hop in the car and go to any vet’s office for a free scan or contact me.

If your pet hasn’t been microchipped yet, please make an appointment. In the meantime, get out your waterproof Sharpie and write on his collar.

Send questions to Visit or like his Facebook page at AC Pup – Central Georgia CARES.