SCHAUMBURG, Ill., Aug. 11, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Many of the heartwarming stories of pets being reunited with their families after many years and miles apart would not be possible if the pets weren't microchipped or the information associated with the chip was out of date.
To remind pet owners to have their pets microchipped and to keep the registration information current, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) have joined together to establish August 15 as Check the Chip Day.
"Microchips greatly increase the chances that you'll get your pets back if they are lost or stolen, but a microchip only works if its registration information is accurate," says Dr. Joseph Kinnarney, president of the AVMA.
Microchips are embedded under the skin using a hypodermic needle, similar to those used for vaccinations. No surgery or anesthesia is required—a microchip can be implanted during a routine veterinary office visit.
After pets have been microchipped, contact information for the pet's owner is registered to the microchip's serial number in a database that veterinary staff can use to locate an animal's owners should the pet become lost.
On Check the Chip Day, Kinnarney urges pet owners to take a few minutes to check their pet's microchip information or schedule an appointment to have their pet microchipped.
"It really can be a matter of life or death if your pet gets lost and a shelter or animal control agency has no way to reach you," Kinnarney says. "It only takes about the same amount of time as updating a password, but it could save your pet's life."
To help illustrate the importance of microchipping pets and keeping their registration information up-to-date, the AVMA and AAHA, with the support of HomeAgain, have developed an animated video showing how one lost dog was reunited with his family, thanks to his microchip.
In addition to the video, the AVMA has developed and gathered a number of other resources for veterinarians. This includes a member toolkit that contains a wide range of resources to help AVMA members observe Check the Chip Day in their clinics. The toolkit contains ready-to-use social media posts, tools to help veterinarians make presentations or raise awareness in their communities, tips for hosting microchip scanning events, and ideas to get clients into the clinic to discuss their microchip registry information. There's also a downloadable flyer that veterinarians can post in their clinics.
The AVMA has also created a Check the Chip Day event on Facebook, where they'll be sharing microchip reunion stories between now and August 15. Social media users can also follow the hashtag #CheckTheChipDay on any of their networks to see microchip-related posts.
The AVMA urges pet owners to talk with their veterinarians to learn more about proper identification for their pets, schedule an appointment to have their pets microchipped, and make sure their pets' microchips have up-to-date information that will ensure a happy reunion if their pets ever become lost.
The AVMA, founded in 1863, is one of the oldest and largest veterinary medical organizations in the world, with more than 86,500 member veterinarians worldwide engaged in a wide variety of professional activities and dedicated to the art and science of veterinary medicine.
SOURCE American Veterinary Medical Association