COMMENTARY Last month I reported on a lost Labrador Retriever named “Toby” that was brought into our clinic in January. On Friday, Jan. 20, “Toby” Coleman was reunited with his family in New York. He arrived at the airport happy and healthy, welcomed by Mark and his children. Mark called us on the 20th to let us know that he was in his hands at the airport. His family was thrilled to see him and “Toby” is fitting in all over again. Thanks to our scanning his microchip and the attention of a responsible stranger, “Toby” is back to sitting on the couch, watching TV with his family, and playing with Ian and Kendra.
“Toby” isn’t the only family member who has recently returned to the Coleman home, however. Combat Medic Elizabeth Coleman returned home on Jan. 31 after completing her deployment in Bragam Afghanistan. She was still in the field when “Toby” flew to New York, but her husband Mark was able to call her earlier in the month and let her know the good news. Elizabeth was thrilled to have “Toby” home when she arrived.
Microchips are extremely versatile and can be implanted in a number of different species. In the fall of 2011 the website mspc Angell reported on “Google,” a microchipped ferret that was lost after slipping out of a hole in a window screen at her family’s home. As with “Toby,” her owner quickly called to report her missing. Fortunately for “Google’s” family the very next day a couple walking their dog found a stray ferret, which they took to a local shelter. The shelter scanned the wayward ferret and so was able to very quickly locate her home.
As reported by the Arizona Republic, microchip technology is also being used by the National Park Service to microchip saguaros cacti. These majestic plants are being dug up and stolen from public lands for landscaping for private homes. Microchipping will enable the Park Service to positively identify cacti that were illegally taken off of public lands.
In addition to plants and animals, horse tack such as saddles are being microchipped because of increased incidences of theft from barns and horse trailers. HomeAgain, one of the largest microchip manufactures, will register the microchip numbers of pets, horses, livestock, plants, or even saddles enabling quick return of anything that you value.
We wish the Coleman family hearty congratulations on reunifying the household. Our clinic is gratified to have played a small role in this cross country and cross continent story. Please consider microchipping as a means to improve your chances of having happy endings when a loss occurs.