Sunday, August 17, 2008

Microchips Help Cops Collar Dog Thieves

AAG Note: We've been victims of dog napping in the past. Just wish we'd had the opportunity to have our guy identified by others so he could have come home. Why didn't we microchip? It wasn't available. Now, we heartily encourage everyone to microchip your pet. It takes a few seconds and the chip is only about the size of a grain of rice.

Not only can your dog have a better shot of coming home, just remember the headlines in GA at the first of the year. When an abandoned dog was picked up and scanned for a microchip, the information led to the arrest of a man who had attacked and murdered a young GA hiker.

(NAPSI)-Sure, your dog might guard your house, but who’s guarding him?

With the recent explosion in dog thefts-hundreds in 2008, compared to just a handful reported for all of 2007-many pet owners have turned to microchips to permanently identify and protect their pets. The chips, which are usually implanted in the scruff of the neck, contain a unique ID code that can be activated when read by a scanner.

“A thief can remove a dog’s collar, but he can’t remove the chip- in fact, he won’t even know the dog has one,” says Lisa Peterson of the American Kennel Club (AKC). “Just recently, the technology led to the recovery of a New York dog that had been missing for five years before turning up in Georgia.”

The AKC offers microchipping events where pet owners can access the technology at little or no cost, and the group gives tips on ways to keep the chips up to date.

But remember: Microchips can only help you get your dog back once it’s already missing. Other safety measures suggested by the AKC include:

At Home

• Don’t let your dog off the leash or leave him unattended in your yard. Keeping him close reduces the likelihood he’ll wander off or become targeted by thieves.

• Breeders should beware of home visits by criminals posing as would-be “puppy buyers.” The scam artists return when no one’s home to snatch dogs.

On The Road

• Never leave your dog in an unattended car, even if it’s locked.

• Don’t tie your dog outside a store. Either patronize only dog-friendly retailers or else leave your pet at home.

• Be alert when frequenting places that cater to dogs, such as grooming salons, veterinarians, doggie day care or hotels. They could make for fertile stalking grounds for those with criminal intentions.

Recovery

• If you suspect your dog has been stolen, immediately call the police or animal control in the area your pet was last seen.

• Be prepared. Have flyers with a recent photo ready to go if your dog goes missing.

To learn more, enroll your pet in a 24-hour recovery service or to find a microchipping event near you, visit www.akccar.org or www.akc.org.

Microchip recovery services can help protect pets.

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