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Microchip Charles is a beloved, family cat from Albuquerque, New     Mexico who ended up in a shelter in Chicago. How he managed to travel 1,300 miles from home remains a mystery.  Yet how he was identified is simple - by scanning and locating his microchip. The story about Charles is quite impossible to believe, yet not uncommon.

Nationally only 30% of dogs and 3% of cats are reclaimed from shelters each year due to lack of identification. Lost animals who come into PAWS fare a bit better – 4.5% of cats and 49% of dogs are reunited with their families, leaving a large number of lost animals that aren’t so lucky. This is the reason why PAWS believes microchipping is so important.

In case you’re not familiar with microchipping, it’s an identification device about the size of a grain of rice that is implanted under the skin between the shoulder blades. Each chip has an identification code unique to that animal. Shelters and vet clinics use a special scanner to pick up the microchip code and positively identify stray pets. It is the only sure method of pet identification on the market today and it’s quick, painless (similar to getting a vaccination), and permanent. Oh, and once “Fido” is chipped, be sure to keep your personal account information up to date with the microchip company. A microchip is only as good as the information provided through the company registry.

No one will ever know how Charles, the cat, made it all the way to Chicago but thanks to his microchip, he has been reunited with his family. Please take the time to microchip your animals. It could save their lives someday.


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