Category Archives: Microchips

Pet Extravaganza – June 4, 2016 – Responsible Pet Ownership

Alderman Ariel E. Reboyras, State Representative Jaime Andrade and City of Chicago Animal Care and Control co-hosted a low-cost vaccine and microchip clinic, Saturday, June 4th.  Lost Dogs Illinois was invited to provide FREE engraved ID tags for each dog and cats who received vaccinations and/or a microchip.  Each tag along with the rabies tag was attached to the dog’s or cat’s collar before leaving the clinic.  Also each participant received our 5 Things to do if you lost a dog or found a dog.  Over 100 dogs and cats were chipped and tagged!

 

Collage of photos from the event.

Collage of photos from the event.

 

Lost Dogs Illinois, Realtors to the Rescue Join Forces at Chicago’s 2016 “Bark in the Park” Event

RTTR and LDI Volunteers Bark in the Park

RTTR and LDI Volunteers
Bark in the Park

Lost Dogs Illinois and Realtors to the Rescue of Homeless Animals teamed to offer free microchip scanning at Chicago’s annual “Bark in the Park” celebration to benefit the Anti-Cruelty Society. Scores of “Bark” dogs and their owners, including many who walked the official 5K course on Lake Shore Drive, stopped by the LDI/RTTR booth to verify that their dogs’ chips were active and properly registered.

“One of the challenges of microchipping is that there are now at least 15 companies offering the product, and not everyone knows which company produced their pet’s chip,” LDI founder Susan Taney said.

“In addition, shelters, pet stores, veterinary clinics, animal hospitals – everyone has a different policy for registering the chip,” Taney continued. “Some will complete the paperwork and submit the registration for the pet owner. Some rely on the owner submitting the paperwork. Some chip companies don’t even keep track of to whom the chip is registered. So it’s always good for a pet owner to know exactly what he or she has purchased, and how it can help a lost pet return home.”

Writing down the chip ID number for the dog's owner.

Writing down the chip ID number for the dog’s owner.

Booth visitors who took advantage of the free service thanked LDI and RTTR repeatedly for offering this kind of help. Even better, a number of dog owners said the service reminded them they needed to update the contact information on their chip registries.

Getting ready to scan a dog.

Getting ready to scan a dog.

“We changed our dog’s name after we adopted her, but we forgot to contact the chip company,” one woman said. “We’ll do that right away now.”

“We’ve moved recently but the chip still has our old address, in New York!” another woman said. “Wow, we’ve got to change that fast.”

Taney and RTTR member Suzy Thomas indicated afterwards they would like their two organizations to collaborate on similar events in the future that can raise the public’s awareness of the importance of microchipping their pets and making sure they wear ID tags with correct contact information.

“It’s all about doing what you can to protect the human-animal bond,” Taney said.

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Preserving the human/animal bond.

by Lydia Rypcinski

Lost Dogs Illinois, Chicago Police 16th District Co-Host Successful Microchip/ID Tag Clinic

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Collage

Dog and cat owners from across Chicagoland took advantage of the free microchip/ID tag clinic offered by Lost Dogs Illinois and the Chicago Police Department on Chicago’s Northwest Side April 9, 2016.

The three-hour clinic, held at the city’s 16th Police District headquarters in the Jefferson Park neighborhood, resulted in 121 dogs and cats getting chipped and receiving ID tags engraved with the pet’s name and owner’s phone number.

“This is like buying an insurance policy to keep your pet safe,” said Kathy Foley, who brought her rescued Rottweiler, Storm.

Logan Square residents Kestelle Wiersma and Scott Foster brought their cat, Elphaba, and dog, Boxcar.

“My brother’s dog got out last spring,” Wiersma said. “He found it in the next day or so, but that fear – we didn’t want to go through that if ours ever got loose, so that’s why we’re here today.”

“William” brought his Pug/Cocker Spaniel mix, Lucy, with him. He said his friend, a Chicago police officer, called him that morning to let him know what was happening.

“I’m glad she did,” William said. “My family would be devastated if Lucy ever got out and we had no way to track her to get her back.”

Lori and Courtney Jensen drove into the city from north suburban Deerfield with their Chihuahuas, Tigger and Missy. They learned about the clinic on the LDI Facebook page.

“They [Tigger and Missy] try to run away a lot,” Courtney confessed.

“We were at a friend’s house when the UPS guy arrived there,” Lori said. “Tigger went running when our friend opened the front door.”

The Pacheco family – Luis, Sonnet and children – from nearby Portage Park came with their 9-month-old pittie, Samson, and 150-lb. Great Dane, Sasha.

“We saw a flyer at the neighborhood library,” Sonnet said. “We wanted to do this because Samson is a puppy, and puppies like to run. We wanted to make sure he would come back home if he got out.”

Shari Grassmuck, a Chicago Fire Department paramedic who lives near Midway Airport, brought her rescue Dutch Shepherd, Marmaduke. Grassmuck found him “playing with a rock in a mud puddle” one night while on duty on the South Side.

“I think a free microchip event is a wonderful idea,” she said. “A lot of dogs and cats are brought to the fire stations. So many animals get lost, and people either don’t know they can chip them or can’t afford to. “

“If it’s free, they will come,” said 38th Ward Alderman Ald. Nick Sposato. “As elected officials, we can tap our social media networks to get word out about events like this. It makes it easier for people to do right by their pets – there’s no appointment time, there’s no cost to them.”

Sharon Rolek drove an hour from the far Southeast Side neighborhood of Hegewisch to get three cats chipped and ID’d.

“We don’t have anything like this on the South Side,” said Rolek, who learned about the clinic in an email from Tree House Humane Society. “I hope this event inspires someone to do this out my way.”

Rolek may get her wish soon. Police Lt. John Garrido, one of the linchpins of the April 9 event, said that two other city police districts – the 5th on the South Side and the 25th on the Far North Side – have contacted him about holding microchip clinics.

“If there is a need for this kind of service in this area – and there obviously is – then there is a need in every area of the city,” Garrido said. “Sometimes it’s just an issue of cost, and that can be helped through sponsorship of events like this.”

Garrido explained that as the afternoon watch commander for the 16th District, “I see so many dogs that get out and are brought to our station. I just can’t see them getting put down because we can’t find their owners.

“We have a large social media network in this area and post and share pictures of all the dogs brought to the station,” Garrido added. “We figure we get about 60 percent of them back to their owners.”

Lost Dogs Illinois provided the ID tags and engraving machine, which it was able to purchase through a generous donation from Chicago-based Realtors to the Rescue along with other donations.

Dr. Peter Sakas of Niles (IL) Animal Hospital and staff and volunteers from Chicago Animal Care and Control supervised clinical and administrative activities.

A little chihuahua protesting the chip implant.

A little chihuahua protesting the chip implant.

“We were very pleased with today’s turnout,” CACC Administrative Services Officer Sue Cappello said. “The 16th District did a great job of setting the event up for us, and we look forward to working with them again.”

Other event sponsors included Aldermen Margaret Laurino (39th Ward) and Anthony Napolitano (41st Ward); Illinois State Senator John Mulroe (10th District); The Garrido Network; The Gladstone Park Neighborhood Association and the Chamber of Commerce; Delightful Pastries; Midwest Dog People; The Puppy Mill Project; Earth Rated Poop Bags; Allstate Insurance: Jaime Morales; RAS Communications; and the UPS Store @Milwaukee/Devon.

To view more pictures of the clinic, click here

By Lydia Rypcinski

Free Health Fair – Englewood Area (Chicago) – April 2nd

What happens when a City funded animal control (City of Chicago Animal Care and Control), notfor profit organization (Lost Dogs Illinois) and a professional hockey team (Chicago Wolves) join together?  They put on a Free Health Fair!  Over 300 residents dogs and cats received FREE microchips, vaccines and ID engraved tags. Working together keeps families together!

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IT ALWAYS TAKES A VILLAGE!!

This amazing reunion story is being shared for a couple of reasons:

  1. There is a need for a centralized lost and found dog database in the US.  Lost Dogs Illinois is already partnered with this FREE service called Helping Lost Pets (HeLP).  It can pull found dogs from any organization’s shelter management software system.  We need the major shelter management software suppliers to connect with HeLP so that all Found Pet Data is visible on one website. Vet Clinics, Police Departments, stray holding facilities shelters, etc. can all use HeLP for FREE.  HeLP is already connected with rescuegroups.org and sheltermanager.com. It is simple!  Just think how many more pets could be reunited!
  2. There needs to be a staff person or a group of volunteers who are trained to research dead end microchips and ID tags. Volunteers could do this right from their own home!
Riley at home.

Riley at home.

The story about Riley is no exception! It is an amazing story with many facets to it. This shy cocker spaniel got lost from his Mom while visiting friends in Palatine. Somehow he was brought into CACC in Chicago! Riley’s Mom contacted all the local PD’s and shelters from near where he got lost but she never thought to go as far as CACC in her search!!! Riley was lucky enough to have a microchip, however when he and his Mom moved from Pennsylvania she didn’t understand how it worked and she did not update her contact info which was unlucky for Riley. Consequently, CACC, animal control sent a letter to the only address on file, which was no longer valid, an old address in Pennsylvania. Riley was on a 7 day ‘letter hold’ at CACC awaiting a response from his Mom who did not receive the letter that was sent to the wrong address. Meanwhile, a fellow rescuer, Jacyln, noted this handsome dog who clearly had a home and took some photos and shared them with the rescue community. She also noted he looked like another lost dog out of Ohio belonging to, Laura . While she and I worked on that angle we hit a brick wall when the microchips did not match. The letter hold was nearing its end. Riley would be city property on 1/16/16, only available to rescues or perhaps the euthanasia room Another rescuer, Juliette was desperately seeking refuge for Riley and also convinced he was missing his family. Inspired by Juliette, I decided to do a little research on the chip and within an hour I had found Riley’s Mom. The wonders of Google and Facebook messaging had Riley’s Mom, Diane, in contact me within minutes. This was her dog, no doubt! Diane would be at CACC at noon armed with her paperwork and proof this was her Riley. However, another rescue trumped my hold request and they were going to pull him and place him in their rescue! Thankfully, both Juliette and I frantically contacted CACC via emails/phone calls and told them the story. CACC contacted the rescue, Furever Rescue, who graciously backed away and let the owner take her dog home. ( In addition to this, Furever has kindly offered to send a groomer to RIley’s home to care of those mats!)

Diane was the first person in the door at CACC today ready to take her guy home! Riley has kennel cough and was stinky and matted from his ordeal but he has gotten a bath settled in and is done with any more adventures to Chicago says his Mom, Diane. Riley proves that lost dogs can find their way home in spite of the hurdles. Riley’s story tells us lost dogs can be anywhere not just near the place they got lost from and we must look everywhere. Riley reminds me that every rescue must fully explain the importance of the microchip to their adopters as well as to keep them up date and to call them when their dog goes missing Riley’s story is also about the power of networking and sharing lost dogs on Facebook and all of us working together. You never know who will see your post that end of saving a life. Please don’t just “like” a post, please “share” it ! To everyone whose life he touched we are all the richer for it! Riley’s story involved a village to get him back home. Thanks to everyone who brought him home!!!.

Thank you, Maria Therese!

New Microchip Guide from Petlink Helps Quickly Identify Microchip Brand

microchip-guide-2016Microchips are a wonderful tool in lost pet recovery, resulting in thousands of successful reunions each year.  But since many microchip companies compete in the same marketplace, it can be difficult to quickly identify the microchip brand.

  • If you do have internet access, a useful tool is the AAHA Microchip Look up tool.
  • If you don’t have internet access, keep this  microchip guide from Petlink nearby.  It shows the unique identifying format of the top microchip companies with the corresponding toll-free number to call.

Print and keep this guide handy with your scanner so that you can quickly get a lost pet back to his/her family.

The reverse side shows the Keys to Effect Scanning.  Follow these directions to make sure you don’t miss a microchip!

Thank you to Petlink for this useful guide to help more lost pets get home!

Here is the pdf file of the guide:  PetLink Microchip Guide_New_2016

Bella’s Meet and Greet at Bentley’s Corner Barkery in Long Grove

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Bella’s meet & greet at Bentley’s Corner Barkery in Long Grove

Bella’s owners were overwhelmed by the whole experience of her being lost and even more by the support of LDI, Bella’s rescue organization, friends and mostly complete strangers that helped them bring their girl home. They wanted to try and pay-it-forward. They became passionate about getting the word out to other dog owners to help them benefit from mistakes that they had made, as well as benefiting from things they had learned that successfully brought their girl home safe and sound.

Once Bella was back home and settled in, they set up a meet & greet at Bentley’s Corner Barkery in Long Grove and invited everyone who supported them during their journey. They asked the rescue they adopted Bella from, Foster2Home, to be their guest and bring some of their adoptable dogs.

Lost Dogs Illinois was invited to attend and pass out information on the proper way to recover a scared dog. LDI did scans to check microchips of any dogs in attendance. It is important to periodically check to see if the microchip is still working and to see if the chip has begun to migrate and make sure it can still easily be found.  Also that the chip is registered to you.

Bently Barker 1.2016.1

LDI Volunteers, Jackie & Maggie, providing free microchip scans.

A good time was had by all and more importantly, more of the community was reached and made aware of the resources available to them if they ever found or lost their dog.

If The Sock Fits…..

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The Klima family of Downers Grove were out of their minds with worry when their 7 lb, 14 year old Toy Poodle went missing on July 8th, 2015.  Sock’s collar had been loose, and he had slipped out of it and escaped with no visible signs of ownership, and with all the scary things out there in this world – strangers, traffic, wildlife; plus cold and rainy weather, how would he ever make his way home to his family?

Information on Sock was posted in the Reporter newspaper,  and on CraigsList, and local veterinarians and shelters were notified; someone then notified the Klimas about Lost Dogs Illinois, so they registered him and printed the flyers generated, which they posted at local businesses.

As the weeks wore on, they assumed the worst, but never gave up hope that their little friend would someday come home to them.  Unbeknownst to them, a Good Samaritan named Tricia was driving home on July 9th and saw a fuzzy thing in the middle of St Charles Road in Glen Ellyn.  Another car had stopped  as well, but the dog came to her, so she scooped him up and started knocking on doors.  No one was home to ID the dog, so she filed a report with the local Police Dept. then brought the little guy to a Lombard veterinarian that she knew held found dogs.  Where had this sweet little old man come from?

After 10 days at the vet’s office; having been scanned for a chip (and then receiving one, as well as vaccinations, when none was found), and no one claiming him, Tricia brought him home, as she did not want this senior boy going to a shelter.  She named him ‘Waffles’, had him groomed and  bought him dishes, a collar & leash, and a bed and began making him part of her family, which  already included 2 dogs,  a cat and a couple of kids.

‘Waffles’ did well with Tricia’s family for several weeks – got along with the dogs, learned to use the doggy doors; snuggled with her during the day when he could, and slept next to her at night. She even went on vacation for a week and left ‘Waffles’ with a friend who bonded easily with him as well.  However, ‘Waffles’ did chase the cat, and did not respond well to the children, which worried her, and she kept trying to find his real home. Then a friend suggested she post him on Lost Dogs Illinois.

After completing the registration for the Helping Lost Pets/Lost Dogs Illinois site, Tricia began to look through the Missing Albums to see if she could find a dog that looked like ‘Waffles’.  Lo and behold!  there was a very similar dog – but he was lost in Downers Grove and she had found the dog in Glen Ellyn, about 7 miles away.  Was it possible this dog could have gotten so far in one day?  She immediately contacted the Klimas and then FaceTimed with them so they could make sure ‘Waffles’ was really their Sock!   They arranged a meeting and oh, the joy when Waffles/Sock saw his family – Tricia told us he went crazy and ran to his owners as fast as his little legs could carry him!  Everyone involved smiled the widest smiles they could; both owners and finder told us it was one of the happiest, most fulfilling moments in their lives.  After 6 weeks, Sock was finally home!

We will never know the full story of how Sock traveled such a distance from his home, but we tell this story not only to commend all the Good Samaritans out there who think not all homeless dogs are strays when they see a dog on the street, but to stress the importance of micro-chipping your pets, and keeping those chips updated with current contact information.  We also urge you to ask your vets to link up with Helping Lost Pets so that when lost dogs are brought in to their clinics, microchipped or not, this nationwide database of lost pets can be searched so Happy Endings like this can occur so much sooner.

 

 

 

 

Update on House Bill 4029

Emma and owners

On April 29, 2015 Lost Dogs Illinois wrote a plea to our LDI Fans to support House Bill 4029, which would support more reunions of lost dogs with their families.

We are happy to report that the Bill 4029 has passed.

This bill requires shelters and rescues (the same as animal control facilities) to scan intake animals for a microchip multiple times before releasing the animal. It also includes veterinary clinics and hospitals that provide this same service to do the same.

The bill also requires that if the first person listed on the microchip cannot be contacted, the shelter must notify the second contact if one is listed.  Also, shelters must notify the owner when they are identified and transfer dogs with identified owners to a local animal control or law enforcement agency for the animal to be reclaimed.  If they cannot transfer the animal, they must hold the animal for at least 7 days prior to removing the animal.

Thank you to Senator Thomas Cullerton, the key sponsor of the bill.

The Microchip Maze – Searching the Databases- (Part 2)

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UPDATE – Since we wrote this article, 24 Petwatch has now begun to participate in the AAHA database. AVID is now the only large microchip company that does not participate. 

Your microchipped lost pet has been picked up and turned into a vet or shelter.  He should be home quickly, correct? Well…. not so fast. In Part 1, we explained how the 900 prefix chips are very difficult to identify, thereby delaying or preventing a successful reunion. We also explained how sticking with one of the Big 5 microchip companies was the best chance your lost pet has to get home.

In this section, we’ll discuss the  different microchip databases and how to navigate them. Each of the Big 5 microchip companies (PetLink, Home Again, AKC Reunite, 24 Petwatch and AVID) maintain their own databases. When a pet is microchipped and enrolled the information is stored in their database (a fee may be required).  Each of these Big 5 companies also has a unique prefix making it fairly easy to identify the manufacturer of the chip if your vet or shelter has a “cheat sheet” like this handy.

cheatsheet
But if the finder of the dog doesn’t have this cheat sheet, they can still be forced to call all five companies until they find the right one. This can waste valuable time.
To expedite reunions,  the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) created the AAHA Universal Pet Microchip Lookup Tool (see screenshot below).  This is an internet-based application that enables veterinarians, shelters, animal control facilities, pet owners or the public to search various registries and identify those registries on which a particular microchip is registered.
AAHA look up site
The AAHA Pet Microchip Lookup Tool works by checking the databases of the participating microchip companies to determine what company has registration information available for a microchip.  Click this link to see which microchip companies participate.
Simply enter the microchip number into the tool and it will pull up the information. When an enrolled chip number is entered the following information will quickly appear on the screen:
AAHA enrolled chip
 Sounds simple, right? But wait! Not all of the Big 5 companies allow the AAHA tool to access their databases.  PetLink, Home Again and AKC Reunite do.  AVID and 24 Petwatch do not. By NOT participating it leaves 100’s of 1000’s of microchips vulnerable. HOW? If an organization is enrolling ALL the different types microchips they get in, ( i.e. a Home Again chip, AKC, etc.) in ONLY the 24Petwatch database, via their shelter software, when that chip is searched in AAHA, it will not give the finding organization ANY information that that chip is enrolled in the 24Petwatch database.
The AAHA Microchip Lookup tool will make a guess at the type of microchip it is but it won’t be sure. Here is an example of the tool making a guess at the type of microchip.
AVID
 AAHA has done a really wonderful thing by creating and maintaining the Microchip Lookup tool but until ALL of the microchip companies cooperate and participate, it won’t have the far-reaching effect it was designed to have.
If a microchip is registered in more than one of the participating databases it will pull up both. The vet or shelter should call the company with the most recently updated information. Here is an example: homeagain
Because microchip companies are always trying to build a better mousetrap, many of them have started their own free databases that you can enroll any  pet’s microchip information into, even if it wasn’t purchase from them.  Some people will do this instead of paying the fee to enroll their pet’s chip into the manufacturer’s database. Bad idea.  Some of these companies will probably fail and drift off into the sunset, along with your pet’s data. Some of them are obscure and unless the vet or shelter staff know about them, they may never be checked.
Even if they do seem to be a good, reputable company – you are still probably adding one extra step or phone call for the shelter or vet staff. You need to make it as easy as possible for them to contact you.
Don’t risk it.  Always make sure that your pet’s information is enrolled and kept up to date in the manufacturer’s database. That is the best likelihood that your pet will make it safely back home.
Next, we’ll talk about the confusing array of enrollment plans and packages that the microchip companies sell.  Do you really need to pay a yearly fee?