You hear these amazing stories all the time about animals who have been missing for years getting reunited with their families because of a microchip and it is true – microchips work! We recently had a stray cat brought to us that was found near a business in town, far from any residential area. She was friendly and appeared well cared for but was certainly lost. A quick once over with the magic wand, I mean scanner, revealed that this girl was chipped!!
We went online to get the owner’s contact information and found out that it went to a Petaluma address. Of course, nowadays people move frequently so that shouldn’t have been surprising. When we called that number the family was thrilled as they had been frantically looking for their missing cat for the past couple of days. But they were shocked to find out it was the Rohnert Park Shelter and not the Petaluma Shelter calling. They still lived at the registered address in Petaluma and hadn’t moved as we assumed.
So how did a cat from Petaluma wind up as a stray in Rohnert Park in a short amount of time? Well when you add in the clue that the business she was found at was a storage facility, it doesn’t take a genius to put two plus two together. The cat must have hopped a ride in someone’s vehicle when they were coming up to put things in storage. Thank goodness she hopped out before she was locked inside one of the units! That certainly could have had a much sadder ending.
We reunite animals all the time with the aid of this marvelous invention – the microchip. Our favorite situations are when a finder brings an animal by to be scanned, we find a chip and look-up the contact info, call the owner and the finder takes the animal back to his home. We don’t have to set up a cage, feed and exercise an animal, do a lot of paperwork and it saves the owner the fees they would have been charged for redeeming their pet. Of course we would follow up on licensing, but still, it makes everything easier for everyone, especially the pets!
It also has helped in cases where the ownership of an animal is in dispute (hint: if you want to be considered the legal owner of an animal, make sure the chip is registered in your name.) That can be helpful when a relationship or marriage breaks up and custody of the pet is being argued over. Same is true if someone finds your cute dog and decides they want to keep her. How can you prove that she is really yours (don’t all poodles look alike)? There are so many important reasons to have your pets' microchipped! And you are so lucky if you live in Rohnert Park or Cotati because thanks to the generous support of the Animal Shelter League’s “Get Them Back Home” program we can offer microchips for FREE to our residents!! If you live outside those two cities, it is only $10, so still a real deal for the peace of mind it can bring you.
With the COVID virus regulations in place you will have to call ahead for an appointment in order to get your pet chipped but we are available seven days a week to do it. Just call 584-1582 to make those arrangements. We hope you will never actually need it but you will feel better knowing your pet has one if or when the need arises. And did I mention it was free??
Mickey Zeldes is the supervisor at the Rohnert Park Animal Shelter. She can be contacted at email@example.com.