What is a microchip?
A microchip is a teeny tiny computer chip (about the size of a grain of rice) that a veterinarian places just under an animal’s skin.
The microchip has all the information that would also be on a collar and identification tags: name, address and phone numbers. Microchips are essential because they can never fall off or be removed like a collar.
How does a microchip work?
While we try to do everything to ensure their safety, unforeseen events like a broken fence, open window or damage resulting from a storm or earthquake, may result in our companion animal becoming lost.
If a companion animal ever becomes lost, SPCA, other shelters and veterinary clinics have special scanners that can read the microchip.
The guardian (owner) of the animal can then be contacted and reunited with their companion animal.
All dogs, cats and rabbits adopted from SPCA have a microchip, ensuring a safe return home if they are ever lost.
When should a pet be microchipped?
Ideally your companion animal should be microchipped prior to you adopting them.
All cats, rabbits and dogs at SPCA are microchipped prior to being available for adoption. However, if your companion animal is not yet microchipped, then we recommend that you make an appointment to do so with your vet as soon as possible.
Keep your details up to date
A microchip is only useful if the owner keeps their details up to date!
It is very important to keep your contact details up to date on the NZ Companion Animal Registry (www.animalregister.co.nz), so that if you move house or change your phone number, you can still be contacted if your companion animal becomes lost/stray.
Why microchip if they already wear a collar and tag?
Simply because collars can fall off or break and tags can be lost or wear off so that they are unreadable.
A combination of a microchip, properly fitted safety collar, current identification tag, and keeping your property secure, are the best insurance policies you can provide to keep your animal safe.