AAHA, AVMA encouraging veterinarians to observe Check the Chip Day on Aug. 15

Veterinarians around the nation can help clients boost their chances of recovering a lost or stolen pet by celebrating Check the Chip Day on Aug. 15.

AAHA and the AVMA partnered to create Check the Chip Day, which encourages pet owners to get their pets microchipped, register the microchip, and verify that the owner's contact information is accurately updated within the chip manufacturer's database.

Making sure to update the information associated with the microchip is essential to ensuring the microchip's usefulness, said Michael Cavanaugh, DVM, DABVP, AAHA CEO.

“Forgetting to register a microchip with the correct contact information is like having a cell phone without a phone number – you may as well not have a microchip,” said Cavanaugh. “In our portable society, people move frequently and if they have outdated contact information, it may be difficult to track down a pet owner’s current address. AAHA encourages pet owners to make updating their microchip information a regular part of their moving routine. While it is important to microchip your pet, it is just as important to be sure the contact information on the microchip is up to date.”

Reducing the number of euthanized lost pets

By communicating the value of having updated information on microchip registries, veterinarians are helping to cut down on the American Humane Association-estimated 9.6 million pets that are euthanized annually when their owners can't be located.

According to an AVMA backgrounder on microchipping of animals, owners are much more likely to be reunited with microchipped pets than animals with no chip. The AVMA cited a study reporting that owners' searches only located their dogs 13 percent of the time, while "the detection of a microchip by an animal shelter yielded a 74.1 percent rate of return to owners."

AAHA tool for searching microchip registries 

To make it easy for veterinarians and pet owners to search the registries of most microchip manufacturers as well as public microchip registries, AAHA maintains a web-based resource called the Universal Pet Microchip Lookup Tool.

The application enables people to quickly determine which registry the pet's microchip has been registered with, which can expedite the process of tracking down the pet's owner. 

More information

For more information on microchipping and details about Check the Chip Day, veterinary hospitals can: