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The Importance of Microchipping Your Pet

June is National Microchipping Month which is a reminder of the importance of microchipping your pets! A survey conducted by the American Animal Hospital Association discovered that out of 7,700 stray animals brought to shelters, 52.2% of microchipped dogs were reunited with their owners. In contrast, only 21.9% of non-microchipped dogs were reunited with their owners. (“Reuniting With A Lost Pet,” n.d.). Microchipping your pets can not only lead to a faster recovery if they were to get lost but also opens up space in the shelter for more animals to receive lifesaving care. 

A microchip is an electronic chip about the size of a grain of rice. Microchipping your pet is no more painful than a typical injection they would receive and is done by injecting the microchip under the skin with a hypodermic needle (“Microchipping FAQ,” n.d.). 

Photo Credit: RSPCA Knowledge Base.

Microchipping pets and maintaining up-to-date information on the microchip should be a top priority for pet owners since it is one of the most reliable ways to ensure that a pet is reunited with an owner if it were to become a stray. Dr. Natalie Weekes, York County SPCA Shelter Medical Director, underscored the importance of microchipping pets as this benefits the community as well as the shelter. She remarks that any local animal shelters or animal hospitals have microchip scanners, as well as many police, animal control officers, and dog wardens. Stray microchipped animals can be scanned by these and returned to their families before even coming to the shelter. 

“Unfortunately, the vast majority of strays we have come into the shelter are not microchipped,” Dr. Weekes said. “Without a microchip, we are unable to reunite the pet. A lot of times the collars with tags will fall off when an animal is running loose.” Dr. Weekes encourages pet owners to take advantage of one of the many affordable microchip clinics that pop up across the country or to speak to their regular veterinarian about microchipping their pet. 

A local girl scout troop actually reached out to our Volunteer Coordinator, Alyson Malay, wanting to partner with our shelter for their Silver Award project. The Silver Award is the highest award that a Cadette can earn. Their project theme this year is sustainability which directly aligns with our strategic plan for the next three years. Now that we have reached a 90% or better save rate the past two years, our next goal is to sustain this milestone for every year to come. A 90% or better save rate means we are saving every animal that can be saved, providing them with live outcomes – one of which is reuniting a lost pet with their owner. 

Girl Scout Troop 20813 at their table during our May dog adoption event.

Girl Scout Troop 20813 aspired to give back to the animals in our community in a sustainable way. For their project, they are raising money to distribute “Paw Packs” to York County police departments that will help them identify and return stray animals to their families faster. These “Paw Packs” will contain a drawstring bag, a leash, a collapsible water bowl, and a microchip scanner.  

The Paw Pack brochures the Girl Scouts created and designed themselves to distribute to attendees.

Currently, there are a limited number of accessible places that have microchip scanners, such as local pet stores (PetSmart & Petco), veterinary offices, and animal shelters (like us). By distributing microchip scanners to local York County police departments, community members will have easy access to bring a stray animal to one of these locations for a police officer to scan for a microchip. This way, the animal may never have to come to the shelter and swiftly be returned to their owner. 

They also made dog toys out of T-shirts to give to new adopters, further displaying ways they are being sustainable!

If you would like to donate to support Girl Scout Troop 20813 in their Silver Award project, you can do so through the following platforms: 

Venmo: @beccathiec1980 

Cashapp: @BeccaT1980 

PayPal: @beccathiec1980 

Thank you for your continual support in our mission to save animals in York County. Help your pet by getting them microchipped so if they were to get lost, you can have peace of mind they can be traced back to you and returned. 


Reuniting With A Lost Pet: The Value Of Microchipping - Whippany, New Jersey. (n.d.). Retrieved June 12, 2024, from  

Microchipping FAQ. (n.d.). American Veterinary Medical Association. 


Hero Image Credit:

Pet Assure