Tale of Two Tails and The Importance of Microchipping

Tale of Two Tails and The Importance of Microchipping

Heather Whalley


Max’s Tail

Max was brought in to be neutered after a family found him outside of their home in Newark, DE.  He was obviously scared and looked thin.  Already having a furry family of their own, they kept care of him from a distance and called Faithful Friends so that they could make arrangements to have him neutered and vaccinated through the Low-cost Spay/Neuter Program.  When arriving, they explained his background to staff during check-in for surgery.  It didn’t take long to figure out Max was already neutered and he was scanned for a microchip.  To everyone’s delight, Max had a microchip and we were all one step closer to finding his human family. 

Staff searched online by the microchip number to find the manufacturer of the microchip, who also stores the owners registered information in their database.  We were given the owners information and a notification was sent out by the operator who received the call indicating Max was found. 

One more call later, and we had Max’s elated and surprised owner on the phone.  The only thing he was able to say initially was “You have my Max.” repeatedly sometimes sounding like a question, others like an exclamation.  Max’s home was in actually in North Carolina!!  His owner had come to Delaware to visit family with all 5 of his cats and while staying here Max got out of the house.  He’d searched for a month before finally having to go home with his other cats.  The day he’d received the call, which was 3 months later, he had literally just informed his veterinarian when picking up flea prevention, that he’d have to remove Max from their records.  Within hours he’d received the call Max was found. 

The strangest part in that Max was named Max by his rescuers as well.  They explained that they’d tried on other names, but he seemed to respond best to Max and it just felt right.  They’d come to love Max as well but were thrilled he had a home that missed him.   Max never left the neighborhood he was lost in.

Max’s human dad was back in Delaware the very next day to be reunited with his fur-baby.  He’s reached out to update us and explains Max is happy to be home and with his family again.


Elsa’s Tail

A kind woman who had pets her whole life, big and small, walked out her front door one day.  What greeted her was a scared kitty who would later be identified as Elsa.  Elsa was scared and when she recognized what was obviously a caring person, leapt into her arms for security.  There was no way she’d be back on the streets and she was brought inside and set up in a spare bathroom.  Having another cat to consider the health of, Faithful Friends Low-cost Veterinary Clinic was contacted.  She advised the receptionist that she had found this little one and wanted to make sure she was healthy.  She was scheduled and arrived for her appointment.  Given her background, clinic staff scanned her for a microchip.  It’s the moment in a shelter or clinic we hold a breath for and hope to hear a quick beep reply.  BEEP! 

There was a moment of glee that almost took another turn when the microchip company informed us that the microchip was never registered.  Faithful Friends staff was able to get the information for the animal hospital that administered the chip though.  Luckily for everyone, the chip number was stored with them and the owner was located. 

Everyone was celebrating when we found out this sweet little cat had a 6 year old who’d been waiting for her to come home for weeks.  With treats, a new collar and carrier in hand, she anxiously arrived to see Elsa again. 



Two Tails, Happy Endings

Max never went far after being lost and was found months later in the same development he was lost in.  This is very typical of cat’s behavior when they get out of the house to hunker down close by.  

Elsa was a cat that was free to roam as an indoor/outdoor pet but it’s suspected that a storm scared her and she traveled across to the other side of the city in fear.  The family decided it was in her best interest to keep her indoors from now on.  Elsa’s microchip was registered as soon as the owners were found.  

Too many times pets are never reunited with their families. 

* Only about 22 percent of lost dogs that entered the animal shelters were reunited with their families. However, the return-to-owner rate for microchipped dogs was over 52 percent (a 238 percent increase).

* Less than 2 percent of lost cats that entered the animal shelters were reunited with their families. The return-to-owner rate for microchipped cats was dramatically higher at over 38 percent (more than 2000 percent better).

* Only 58 percent of the microchipped animals’ microchips had been registered in a database with their pet parent’s contact information.  



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