A tale of a pet owner, a curious cat named Hercules and a very persistent neighbor.
Julie, the owner of Hercules the cat, noticed that every so often Hercules would go missing for a few days at a time. Julie was curious about where Hercules was going. Turns out, Hercules was quite the foodie and was traveling far and wide to sample exotic cuisine. His favorite jaunt to satisfy his insatiable pallet was the neighbor’s house. The neighbor would regularly feed Hercules and she soon became quite a fan of her regular customer, so much of a fan that she decided she wanted to keep Hercules as her own.
At first, Hercules’ owner Julie was not at all willing to give the cat away to her neighbor, however after exhaustive arguing and insistence on the part of the neighbor, Julie finally gave in.
A couple years later, Julie received a strange call from the local humane society. She was informed by the people at the shelter that they had her cat. Confused, Julie informed them that she did not have a cat. The people at the shelter asked her if Hercules was not her cat. Julie then remembered Hercules, her former cat that had found a new home with the neighbor. As it turns out, the neighbor had moved way and left Hercules behind.
So how did this serendipitous reunion that allowed Julie and Hercules to be reunited come to be? Hercules was microchipped.
A Microchip is a small devise(about the size of a large grain of rice) that is placed under the animal’s skin. The implant contains a unique number which can be read through the skin by a special scanner. The number that the scanner reads is matched to a number kept in a national database, which also has information about the name of the pet owner and their contact information.
It is extremely useful in the quick and accurate return of lost pets, like Hercules. Having pets microchipped, in combination with having them wear a license tag, is far more efficient than using an ID tag alone. Collars are often lost or removed when the animal is straying, however a Microchip cannot be lost.
If the pet has a microchip it is beneficial to the shelters because they are able to return lost animals to their home and do not have to put out the cost of feeding and sheltering the animal. It is beneficial to the animals and their owners because they can be reunited in a timely and efficient manner.
All pets adopted from Butte Humane Society are microchipped as a part of the adoption fee. BHS will doing a $15 microchip special during April for animals that have not yet received the implant. Regularly, the price of a microchip implant is $30.
Please take some time to learn more about microchipping by visiting our website.
-Monica Hitchcock, Public Relations Intern