Microchip Helps Willow (a Calico Cat) Return Home After 5 Years

by Dr. Peter Hill 20. September 2014 13:20

dr. peter hill

Ever wonder what would happen if your outdoor pet lost its direction and couldn't find home? We often take for granted that our dogs and cats will go outside; do what they need to do, then return home to us, tail wagging or purring in contentment. But what if they don't?

That's exactly what happened to Willow - a calico cat from Boulder Colorado, who decided it was time to make a move from Colorado to the Big Apple. Willow disappeared from her home five years ago, and her owners thought she was gone forever. Well, they were wrong. Just recently Willow appeared on the streets of New York City, fat and healthy. Veterinarians and animal enthusiasts are all wondering how she did it. Did she hitch a ride or make the trek all by herself?

The theories are endless, but one thing is certain: Willow's family is delighted to be getting her back. Once Willow was found, a technician at the New York City Animal Rescue and Shelter System scanned for a microchip, and sure enough, found her match - over the Mississippi River and 1,800 miles away.

How the microchip works:

  • Microchips are small transponders about the size of one grain of rice.
  • Veterinarians inject the chip under the pet's skin, usually between the animal's shoulders.
  • The owner registers the microchip that carries a tracking number linked with the owner's contact information.
  • When veterinarians or animal control officials find stray animals, they typically check the pet with a hand-held scanner to determine whether it has a microchip with contact information. This is then used to return the pet to its owner.

Are you worried about losing your dog or cat? Contact your veterinarian for more details about micro-chipping your pet.

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