Pet microchipping is a method of permanently identifying a pet using a tiny, rice-sized microchip that is implanted just under the animal’s skin. The microchip contains a unique identification number that is linked to the pet’s owner’s contact information in a database created and owned by the microchip’s manufacturer.
The City of Montgomery, Alabama has a microchipping ordinance for dogs and cats. If you live in the city and have a dog or cat over nine months old, they must be microchipped and registered with a national registry. If you need assistance covering the expense of microchipping for your dogs and cats, the Montgomery Humane Society’s Shelter Intervention Program may be able to help. To learn more about the program or to apply for assistance, visit Shelter Intervention Program.
Here’s how microchipping works:
- Implantation: A veterinarian will insert the microchip under the pet’s skin, typically between the shoulder blades, using a special hypodermic needle. This procedure is similar to receiving a vaccine and is usually quick and relatively painless.
- Scanning: If a lost pet is found, a veterinarian, animal control officer or shelter employee can use a universal scanner to scan the pet and read the microchip’s identification number. This number is first used to identify the microchip’s manufacturer using the American Animal Hospital Association’s universal database. Then, the number is used to identify the pet owner by entering the microchip number in the manufacturer’s database (i.e., 24Petwatch.com, Fi Nano, PetLink, etc.)
It’s important to keep your contact information up to date in the microchip manufacturer’s database so that you can be quickly and easily be reached if your pet is lost.
Microchipping is a safe and effective way to permanently identify your pet and increase the chances of reuniting with them if they become lost.