Technology Tip: Microchip Pets On Arrival
It is hard to believe that in this day and age advocates for animals still need to work hard to convince animal shelters and rescue organizations to microchip their pets prior to adoption. The reasons for doing so are many, most importantly doing so strengthens the safety net available for each pet. Additionally, given that animal shelters and rescue organizations universally encourage microchipping, this practice helps align their deeds with their words. And, let's face it, there are few things more annoying than people or organizations who don't practice what they preach. Beyond all of that, ensuring that each pet adopted has a microchip that is automatically pre-registered to the new owner is simply better customer service. It can also generate significant income.
So, absolutely, yes. Every pet adopted should be microchipped and registered before going to their new home. I, however, take that philosophy one step further. I recommend microchipping every pet on arrival, unless doing so is not possible for medical or behavior reasons. In those cases, I recommend assigning a microchip to be implanted at a later date, like, for example, during a pet's spay or neuter procedure. The benefits of doing this are many and significant and can dramatically improve data collection and critical record keeping.
Medical records, for example, can be linked to a pet's microchip number so that if a pet is adopted and then returned two years later, re-entering the pet with its microchip number can automatically pull up all of the past medical records. It also makes it easier to track animals that have been returned multiple times, animals that have frequently been roaming at large, or that have been involved in other kinds of incidents, even if those incidents have happened while the animal has been living with different owners. Without a microchip, tracking these things can be very challenging, if not impossible. A dog, for example, could be adopted, then sold or given to someone else, its name changed, and if it is then brought back to the shelter the intake staff might have no way of knowing it had originally been adopted from their shelter. If that pet had been vaccinated, or received other medical care, or if it had specific behavior issues the first time it was at the shelter, all of that critical information could be lost in the system. That could result in pets being given unnecessary vaccinations, or important behavior information being missed.
Not all shelter management software systems have been designed with that level of functionality in mind. RescueSuite Software is one that has been.
Given the importance of microchips, and the benefits they offer to shelters and rescue groups, there is simply no excuse for not microchipping each pet on arrival. Feel free to contact me for more information about getting started with this kind of microchipping and fundraising program.