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Microchips results in higher rate of return of shelter animals to owners

Dr. Linda LordCOLUMBUS, Ohio – Animals shelter officials housing lost pets that had been implanted with a microchip were able to find the owners in almost three out of four cases in a recently published national study.

According to the research, the return-to-owner rate for cats was 20 times higher and for dogs 2 ½ times higher for microchipped pets than were the rates of return for all stray cats and dogs that had entered the shelters.

"This is the first time there has been good data about the success of shelters finding the owners of pets with microchips," said Linda Lord, lead author of the study and an assistant professor of veterinary preventive medicine at Ohio State University.

"We found that shelters did much better than they thought they did at returning animals with microchips to their owners."

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Previous research by Dr. Lord: Reuniting lost pets with their owners

Dogs and cats are considered by many owners to be part of the family. A pet that strays from its home can be at serious risk for starvation, injury, or death. Given the strength of the human-animal bond and the emotional attachment that many owners have to their pets, having a pet stray from its home can be traumatic and distressing for the owner. Based on her research, published in the Journal of the Veterinary Medical Association, Dr. Linda Lord has created a brochure{{IconPDF}} that offers helpful information for pet owners on the importance of pet identification. "Plan for a happy reunion" offers there is a checklist of suggestions and actions for owners if their pet becomes lost. It is designed primarily for use in veterinary offices and animal shelters, for use in puppy and kitten packages, as well distribution during wellness examinations.


About the College of Veterinary Medicine at Ohio State

Founded in 1885, The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine is ranked fifth in the nation and includes more than 1,000 faculty, staff and students in the Departments of Veterinary Biosciences, Veterinary Clinical Sciences, and Veterinary Preventive Medicine. The Veterinary Medical Center is one of the largest specialty referral centers in the world, with more than 35,000 farm, equine, and companion animal patients each year. A nationally-recognized ambulatory practice and teaching unit in Marysville, Ohio provides farm animal experience to every veterinary student, and the Food Animal Health Research Program in Wooster, OH focuses on detection, control, and prevention of disease. Located on the only campus in the country with a comprehensive medical center offering seven health sciences colleges, we admit up to 162 veterinary students per class, and offer a new comprehensive graduate program in Veterinary and Comparative Medicine as well as a unique Master’s degree in Veterinary Public Health, in partnership with the College of Public Health.   


Originally Published: 

Thursday, October 15, 2009 - 1:23pm