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BT 231BULLDOGSIGN Thanks to pet microchips, the small computer chip ID implants used by shelters, rescue groups and veterinarians, thousands of pets have found their way back home. Some pets wandered away and became lost or injured. In other cases, they were stolen from their homes. A microchip was all the pet had for ID to provide a clue about where he or she belonged.


LONDON — Dog owners who refuse to fit Fido with a microchip may someday find themselves fetching a hefty fine, the British government said Wednesday. All dogs in England will have to be fitted with microchips by 2016, authorities said, meaning that canines across the country will be chasing cars with a tiny circuit embedded in the back of their necks.

Britain's Environment Department said that the chips would help reunite owners with lost or stolen pets, promote animal welfare and take the pressure off animal shelters. "It's a shame that in a nation of dog lovers, thousands of dogs are roaming the streets or stuck in kennels because the owner cannot be tracked down," Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said in a statement. "Microchipping is a simple solution that gives peace of mind to owners."
Many British pet owners already have veterinarians insert chips under the skin of dogs, cats, and rabbits in a bid to keep track of their animals. The Environment Department says 60 percent of Britain's 8 million pet dogs already have microchips, which can be scanned and matched to their owners' details. Once the rule goes into effect, owners who refuse to fit their dogs with chips face fines of up to $800.  All dogs in England will have to be fitted with microchips by 2016, authorities said, meaning that canines across the country will be chasing cars with a tiny circuit embedded in the back of their necks.

However when you look behind the scenes you learn of campaigns in Britain to stop the mandatory implanting of chips.

Most interesting reading..FROM: ChipMeNot UK ( Press Release 6th February 2013. Here is some of what is in this press release that caught my attention. "“Introducing compulsory chipping of dogs will not solve the problem of stray dogs. There is
already a law in place (the Control of Dogs Order 1992 [2]) that requires all dogs to wear a  collar and tag containing contact details of the owner. Non-compliance with this law already carries a fine of up to £5,000. Anyone that can read can read a tag – microchips require an  expensive reader. Collar tags do not fail, migrate around the body or cause medical  complications, whereas chips do. Responsible ownership cannot be legislated into  existence. Compulsory chipping would simply be a burden on law abiding owners. If so- called “irresponsible owners” are not complying with the current regulation it is naive to  think they will comply with any new regulation and enforcement would be costly and  ineffective.”and then...."compulsory chipping would grant those that chip dogs immunity from prosecution.".....  This would hold true in the USA also.



In the USA this method of identifying lost pets is a growing trend also. Many cities, and towns are also putting into their animal control regulations requirements along with pet licensing, or the pet owner will face fines.  One city I did look at was El Paso, Texas. There are many others now on the books or will be soon adding chipping to their animal regulations.


 But there are many people in the USA that have major concerns about implanting a foreign item into their pets, even if it is only the size of a piece of rice.

In fact as I went further into looking to  identify what the concerns were and if they could be founded in real life...

Guess What!  there is another side to this rosy picture of finding our pets....

Oh yes it has to do with money.  I am sure I have only just touched the tip of the new science iceberg, most of it does not relate directly to pet safety.  I will list links at the bottom and you can interrupt yourself the future implications.. (some have interesting discussions).


 Back to our  pets


Microchipping will only  help if someone picks up your pet and takes him to a shelter or veterinarian’s office to be scanned for a chip. Some people think chips are like a tracker or a GPS device, but a microchip only works if someone scans the chip.

"The major concern any time you implant a foreign body into your pet, whether that’s a microchip, a metal plate for a fracture or any other material, there’s the potential for your pet’s body to reject the substance. There have been two documented cases in veterinary medicine where sarcoma or fibrosarcoma, two types of soft tissue tumors, occurred at the site of the injection.While two cases are not very many, there are likely many more cases that have not been documented.  Needless to say, it’s important to realize that implanting any foreign material into your pet’s body is a risk."  after reading this statement I decided to find out about "two documented cases"

 While I did not find a lot on those cases I did come across the following.

"Differences in animal microchip frequency in the US have led to controversy and several civil lawsuits.3,6,7 There is no agreed-upon "American standard" for microchip frequencies.7 The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) voted in favor of the current International Standards Organization (ISO) Standards both at the time of initial adoption in 1996 and at the time of their mandatory 5-year review in 2001 and 2006. In its August 2006 report to USDA, the Equine Species Working Group urged use of the ISO standard for identification of equine species, as well as the development of ISO-compliant scanners that are also able to read, or at least detect, 125-kHz microchips.  Link: Microchipping-of-Animals-Backgrounder.aspx


The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) created the AAHA Universal Pet Microchip Lookup Tool. The Tool, available at, allows users to enter a microchip code and directs them to participating microchip registries associated with that microchip's number and the microchip's manufacturer.59  The site does not provide registration information and only provides information linking to the six microchip databases that operate in the U.S. Although a central database and/or search engine will facilitate identification of the microchip manufacturer, it is still incumbent on animal owners to register the microchip and keep the information updated.


 IN THEORY: Once they get the chip’s number, and the company that made the chip, they’ll contact that company to find the owner. And that’s one of the most important things people need to remember - the chip is only as good as the registration.  But if your registration isn’t submitted and then kept current, it’s useless. That’s been a big gap. Many more pets are microchipped than are properly registered. You have to get the paperwork and make sure that chip is registered to you, with your phone numbers. And if you move or you change your phone numbers, you have to update that information. Also your chip may not be readable or migrated  away from the implant area.  If the microchip and the scanner being used... this system will not work...

Solution..Register not only with your  chip manufacture but register also with the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) created the AAHA Universal Pet Microchip Lookup Tool.


So if you believe that your pet is safe in your home, such as an indoor housecat or a dog that’s appropriately trained and they wear collars with Id tags, or pets that are always kept on a leash outdoors -- and most importantly, is a dog that knows his name and comes when he’s called -- there’s a very good chance that you do not need a microchip. And in these cases the risks do outweigh the benefit.

However, if your dog doesn’t know to “come” or you let her outdoors off-leash and just hope she comes back, these are high-risk situations. Ideally, you should rearrange your lifestyle to keep a closer reign on your dog or get some obedience training.
If this isn’t a possibility, then microchipping your pet may be an option. But do remember that microchips carry the risk of an autoimmune reaction or a degenerative reaction where your pet’s immune system becomes aggravated or chronically inflamed, which can in turn lead to tissue degeneration and abnormal cell growth, or cancer at the site of implantation.


Are There Other Options?

The decision of whether or not to microchip is highly dependent on your individual circumstances and pet.

However, if you’d like an alternative one way to mark your pet without implantation under the skin is tattooing.

For example, your phone number can be tattooed onto your pet’s thigh while he is already under anesthesia for spaying or neutering. Be aware, if you do this, that phone numbers can change! You’ll have to commit to the same number for the life of your pet.

This continues to be a highly debated topic in veterinary medicine, and it’s really important that you weigh risk versus benefit when deciding on microchipping.

This will help you make the best decision for the pets in your care. (hint: Think heavy marketing programs and $$$),

Other related links:, National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health,,