When Pam O'Leary adopted Chaz from the Heartland Humane Society about three years ago, they encouraged her to have the dog microchipped. She had never done this with previous dogs she'd owned but agreed to have it done with Chaz. Her decision likely saved his life.
Cha had been afraid of storms since being adopted and needed to be secured in a room. In fact, Pam believes that he may have run away from this original owner during a storm, which is how he ended up at the shelter. When a thunderstorm rolled through the area in June, Pam put him in the garage overnight.
Unfortunately, one of the doors wasn't completely closed and sometime during the night, Chaz ran away. Early the next morning, Pam realized he was missing and began to look around the neighborhood.
"We couldn't find him anywhere, and were getting ready to call the authorities,” she said. "But, around 7:00 a.m., we received a call from Pipestone Veterinary Services that he was there and had been hurt."
Chaz had been hit by a car and seriously injured. A police officer had picked him up and brought him to the clinic a little before7:00 a.m. Because he had been microchipped, the vet technician was able to contact Pam and she was on her way to the clinic when Dr. Lori Hickie arrived a just after 7 am to assess his condition.
He suffered a broken jaw and a hairline fracture of one of his backbones. When he arrived at the clinic, he was also in shock and suffering pain. Because Pam was notified immediately, she was able to get to the clinic to learn about his condition and treatment options and provided consent for the surgery that Chaz needed.
Chaz has recovered well from his injuries and the staff at Pipestone has been supportive during his treatment and check-ups, said Pam.
"They've always kept me updated on his progress and what to expect," she said.
"Chaz's story is a real life example that microchips save lives," said Dr. Hickie. "If we had not been able to reach Chaz' owner and received consent for treatment, Chaz may have had to be humanely euthanized. Instead, he is recovering at home."
A microchip is a permanent identification that is placed just under the skin of an animal. If the pet is lost and is taken to an animal shelter or veterinary clinic, the microchip can be scanned to read a unique ID code. This code is connected to a database with its owner's name, address and contact information, so the owner can be quickly contacted.
Microchipping is both affordable for the owner and a simple process for the pet. A veterinarian injects the microchip -- about the size of a grain of rice -- beneath the surface of the animal's skin between the shoulder blades. It only takes a few seconds and is similar to a routine shot, and no anesthetic is required.
In August, Pipestone Veterinary Services are running a 'Check the Chip' program to highlight the benefits of microchipping and to make sure that pet owners keep their contact information updated in the database. Call today to set up your appointment for your pet microchipped. If you already have your pet microchipped, it’s a good time to make sure all the contact information is up to date. Pet owners can visit the AAHA Universal Pet Microchip Lookup Tool at petmicrochiplookup.org to check verify their pet's registration and make sure pet owners contact information is up to date.
"I'm thankful that we were encouraged by the shelter to have Chaz microchipped. If we hadn't, the clinic likely wouldn't have been able to reach me in time to get Chaz the treatment that he needed to recover," said Pam.