Fri, 04/12/2024 - 10:27pm

Editorial: April 12, 2024

Ralph’s Microchip Tale

There are those who question the benefits of microchipping versus what some think could be the harmful effects to their dog. We can remember a time some years ago when the American Kennel Club offered two kinds of microchips — one that could only be read in the United States and one that could be read internationally — resulting in our dogs having to be microchipped twice. At the time we were uneasy about a double dose, as it were. But times have changed, and now reading microchips implanted in dogs is very commonplace, provided the finder of the animal has access to a reader and contacts the owner. This brings us to a story recently reported about a friend’s neighbor in rural upstate New York whose Beagle named Ralph disappeared. After searching for Ralph day after day, month after month and year and after year, one can imagine the sense of loss the owner, Gary, felt — and the uncertainty of what happened to Ralph and if he was even still alive. Gary’s neighbor gifted him a Beagle puppy to help him with his grieving. The questions lingered, and as time went by, Gary’s hope dimmed, and he realized that Ralph was gone for good. Then one day, the phone rang, and it was the Okeechobee Animal Control office in Okeechobee, Florida. Ralph had been found wandering the street and was picked and scanned, only to find his owner information. So, three years and four months after his disappearance, Ralph was reunited with his owner Gary. It’s a nice story with a happy ending. A reminder that even if a dog gets lost, he is never without his microchip, and that’s the best way to be reunited. The American Kennel Club offers its very successful AKC Reunite recovery service. Once enrolled, there is no annual fee for lifelong coverage. The recovery telephone lines are operated on 24/7 basis, 365 days a year. According to the American Kennel Club’s latest stats on its website, more than 5 million pets have been microchipped or tattooed, with more than 460,000 lost pets having been returned. Something to think about with all the dog-napping taking place around the country. Purebreds, especially breeds like French Bulldogs, are the dog napper’s favorite target. Not every dog is as lucky as Ralph to be returned to his rightful owner.



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