We'll be focusing on the importance of pet identification at this year's Homeless Animals Day event at Market-at-the-Square.
A recent study showed that while only about 20% of dogs that arrive at shelters without chips are returned to owner, over 50% of chipped dogs are reunited with their families. The statistics are similar for cats, with less than 5% of unchipped cats being reunited, and just under 40% of chipped cats finding their way home.
Microchips are extremely important, especially in the event that you become unexpectedly separated from your pet due to a crisis, accident, or catastrophe. When a collar or tags come off for whatever reason, the microchip makes it possible for a reunion to occur.
But don't assume that because your pet is chipped you can afford to be lax about the collar and tags! If your pet gets out of the house and takes a tour of the neighborhood, wouldn't you like to make it as easy as possible for someone to notify you that your pet has been found? An animal not sporting a collar and tags will have to be brought to animal control or a shelter, and probably spend at least one night, before being reunited. Either that or you're counting on the good-samaritan-finder to post flyers, ring doorbells, or go to some other extraordinary measures while providing your pet with temporary shelter. Not many people are in a position to do that!
Make especially sure your pets are sporting identification that includes your cell phone number when you're traveling with them!! Animals can easily become separated from you during travel, due to the change in routine or in the unfortunate case of a car accident.
Here's a good article with some data on microchipping: http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=154997
If your pet is not microchipped, contact your veterinarian or local animal shelter about having the chip implanted and registering the chip!