The Pets Doc

Dr. Kevin Watkins, DVM

812-273-1803

The Home Again Pet Recovery System

Imagine this happening to you: Your pet has managed to escape from your yard. By the time you notice, several hours have passed. What are your chances of ever seeing your dog or cat again? This scene is repeated numerous times a day across the country. So, it pays to protect your precious four legged family member.

Several years ago, the odds of you ever being reunited with your pet were not very good. Recent advances in technology have produced a simple system for identifying and recovering a lost pet.

The Home Again Pet Recovery Service system consists of a biologically inert capsule that contains an electronic microchip. The chip, which has its own unique code, may be read at an animal shelter or veterinarian’s office with a special handheld scanner. The chip’s code is registered in a national database maintained by Home Again Pet Recovery Service.

The pet is brought to a veterinarian’s office for “chipping”. The microchip is injected by means of a syringe that contains the microchip in a sterile solution. Once the chip is injected, tissue actually grows around the chip to anchor it in a fixed position in the body, usually between the shoulder blades. The vet then verifies that the chip is working properly by using the Home Again scanner to read the chip. Chips are much more likely to help find your pet than collars, tattoos or other methods of identifying your pet.

The information about the pet and its owner along with the unique chip code is then sent to the Home Again Pet Recovery Service Headquarters for listing in the database. If your pet is ever lost, it may be brought to an animal shelter or veterinary clinic and scanned. Once the ID number of the chip is read, Home Again can be contacted for the owner’s information. The owner is then notified and arrangements can be made to reunite the pet with its owner.

A collar tag is included with the chip kit to alert someone to the presence of the chip. The tag is also printed with the chip ID and the contact information for Home Again. Home Again’s services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year in case the pet is found.

On average, 7000 pets a month are reunited with their owners because of the Home Again Pet Recovery Service. To date, more than 3.5 million pets have been tagged with the chips, and over 300,000 pets have been recovered, thanks to the Home Again system.

Opie the Cat had been missing since 4/26/04. After scouring the neighborhood, posting signs and on-line ads, sending flyers to area vets, plastering the neighborhood with door-to-door flyers, etc, the owner had given up hope of finding him. Opie was finally reunited with his owner after a vet scanned him when he was brought to a clinic and found the chip. He had been over a mile from home, on the other side of a busy freeway.

Sometimes pets can go missing even if they are well-trained. Sydney, a female Golden Retriever had just given birth to a litter of puppies. Her owner took her for a special duck-hunting trip as a reward for doing such a good job with the delivery. Unfortunately, she became lost in the woods. 24 hours after she ran off, a call came in that she had been found.

Even if you are traveling or moving from one state to another, the Home Again Pet Recovery Service improves your chances of getting your pet back. Noz, a Domestic short-Hair Cat, was found in Chicago, IL. The owner’s address in Home Again’s database was in Minneapolis, but the owners actually lived in North Carolina. So how did Noz get to Chicago? Noz and his family were moving from Minnesota to North Carolina, and he escaped on the drive down. The family was forced to continue the journey, even knowing Noz was lost. Amazingly, Noz was gone for many months before finally being reunited with his owners.

Another case literally saved a dog’s life. Tashatu, a female Rottweiler, was stolen and gone for over a month before turning up at an animal shelter. The animal shelter scanned a Home Again microchip and the owner was contacted. If the owner had not been found, there is a chance that Tashatu may have been euthanized. The owner was thrilled and said without the microchip she would have never got her dog back!

Many pet organizations suggest that the chip is a good start in identifying pets, but should be used with other methods. The more identification your pet has available, the greater chance of return.

Petsdoc Veterinary Clinic is an authorized Home Again Pet Recovery Service agent. As an authorized agent, they can handle the “chipping” of your animal, registration in the Home Again database, and assisting with recovery of pets with the Home Again chip.

Dr. Kevin Watkins and his staff can provide you with all the information you need to help protect your pet and increase the chances of being reunited with your beloved pet.

Margo Watkins, Pet Behavior Counselor

Pawsitive Pet Behavior Blog