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Microchips: Worth their weight in Unobtanium!

Unobtanium is that awesomely expensive, incredibly difficult to procure material that is used to make things like those $4000 hammers and $1200 toilet seats that NASA uses, or that “designer” makeup they sell on late night infomercials. Microchips weight virtually nothing — like maybe 0.1 gram…or maybe not even that much. You do the math.

Last week, we placed a recently-arrived dog named Koda…no, named Loke…no, well, there’s a tale there. Be patient. The family with which we placed him told us that their backyard fence needed a little work before it was secure, but that they were working on it already, so we let the Sheltie go home with them, cautioning them to be extremely careful, as he was a young puppy (about 6 months) and didn’t know his way around. The Sheltie came to us named Koda, but obviously didn’t have a clue what those two syllables meant, so we started calling him Loke (after the Norse god of mischief). He was beginning to recognize that that sound meant “me”, which was a Good Thing. We have since learned that they decided to rename him “Sonny”, which isn’t a problem, since he’d barely begun to associate himself with Loke.

Well, a couple of days ago, we got a call from the family saying that the puppy was missing! Because the fence wasn’t quite done yet, they’d been taking him out on a leash to go potty. On this particular day, Sonny hadn’t been focusing on what he was supposed to be doing, and they got bored just standing out there with him…so they hooked the leash to a pipe outside their house and went inside for a few minutes. When they came back, Sonny was gone! He’d jerked hard enough that the pipe broke and off he went.

Happily, we have now received a phone call from 24PetWatch, saying that a SLC veterinarian’s office had called them to say that somebody had brought in a Sheltie; when they scanned the dog, they came up with a 24PetWatch microchip number. And 24PetWatch traced that microchip back to Sheltie Rescue of Utah. Barbara immediately checked our records and, yay!, it belonged to Loke/Sonny. Obviously, if he hadn’t been chipped, we’d have never heard from him again — somebody would have found him and taken him home with them.

This afternoon, Barbara got email from our friend Jennie, who runs Colorado Sheltie Rescue, saying that they’d taken in an old Sheltie girl in generally good condition, obviously well cared for and loved, with a microchip that traced back to Salt Lake County Animal Services. Barbara called them and discovered that one of our volunteers, Dawn Buhlman, had taken that Sheltie from SLC Animal Services back in 2000 and then placed her. As of this writing, we haven’t talked to Dawn, but we’ve left her a message. With even a tiny bit of luck, she’ll be able to find out the name of the person to whom she adopted the dog and Jennie will be able to reunite that sweet old girl with her family.


Self-serving commercial announcement: Sheltie Rescue of Utah will microchip your dogs for the best price in Utah!

On this day..

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3 comments to Microchips: Worth their weight in Unobtanium!

  • Those are wonderful stories about how helpful microchips can be in reuniting lost pets with their families!

    I did just want to add though, how important it is to keep the contact information of the owners up to date. So, if you have your pets microchipped and you move, remember to update your contact information so that it’s current.

  • Cindy Colbert

    My neighbor is a school teacher she has one of those trailers that all the schools use. Last friday a big floppy golden came to class with all the students. The vets office down the street from her school scanned him and found his home within the hour. It saved the poor guy from a visit to the police departments kennels- that is where they go here. Micro chips are definetly worth the effort.

  • I always wondered how well they work and how long they last though. If it was worth it and what kind of risks there might be to the pet.

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