Firefighter Saves Dog from L.A. River… What a Microchip Is and How to Use One

I just watched this nailbiter showing firefighter Joe St. Georges rescuing a dog from a river in L.A (click on link below to watch video).

Firefighter Saves Dog from L.A. River

Fortunately, both man and dog came out of it ok. That is one lucky dog! Thank you Joe St. Georges for taking the risk to save this dog. The dog had a collar, but no tags or microchip, so he is at animal control in Downey, CA. Please, please, please microchip your dog! Here’s more info from the Not Without My Dog Resource & Record Book, coming soon (click here for more info). The book also has a section entitled, “What You Can Do Now to Prevent Your Dog from Getting Lost and to Help You Find a Lost Dog” (coming in another post soon).

What a Microchip Is and How to Use One:

A microchip is a computer chip in a capsule, about the size of a grain of rice, that’s encoded with a unique ID number. It is permanently implanted and can identify your dog if she is lost or stolen. A microchip is the only sure way to identify your dog if the collar is removed or lost, and can provide security and peace of mind.

The microchip is painlessly injected beneath the skin of a dog, usually between the shoulder blades. The chip remains inactive until read by a hand-held scanner that sends a low frequency radio signal to the chip. The chip then transmits an ID number to the scanner. The technology used in microchips is similar to that used in human implants like pacemakers. Since the microchip is powered by the external reader, it is off most of the time and does not require a battery. Thus, one chip is expected to function for your dog’s entire life.

A microchip can be implanted by your veterinarian or at a local animal shelter or humane society. Animal shelters and humane societies often hold low-cost microchip clinics. If your dog has a microchip, you need to register your contact information with the microchip company. Include an out-of-state emergency phone contact since local communication may be difficult in a disaster situation. Keep your dog’s microchip information on file with your veterinarian and update your vet and the microchip company right away when your contact information changes. The microchip can only reunite you with your dog if people know how to reach you. For peace of mind, ask your veterinarian to scan your dog’s microchip at each visit to make sure it is still detectable.

Microchip Basics:

_____  Have a microchip implanted under your dog’s skin. Make sure the implanter scans and reads the chip before and after it’s implanted. Record the chip ID number and company in the front of this book.

_____  Register your contact information with the microchip manufacturer right away. Include an out-of-state contact as an emergency back-up.

_____  Make sure the microchip number and company are filed with your dog’s records at the vet clinic. Ask your vet to scan and check the chip at each visit.

_____  Update the microchip company and your veterinarian immediately whenever your contact information changes.

_____  Make sure your dog wears a collar with ID, the quickest way to identify your dog. The microchip is not intended to take the place of a collar with ID, but is valuable when the collar is lost.

_____  If your dog is lost or stolen, contact the microchip company immediately. Some companies will issue an all-points bulletin to the vet clinics, impounds and animal shelters in your area.

Coming in Spring 2010:

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