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Microchipping Pets Essential Before Summer Travel Says Ocala Veterinarian

OCALA, Fla., June 9, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Did you know that nearly 10 million dogs and cats are lost each year? According to the American Humane Society, without microchips, the rate of return is only 10%.

Ocala veterinarian Dr. Kelly Culbertson is urging pet owners to microchip their pets in advance of the summer travel season. Without a microchip, nearly 90% of all lost pets are never returned home. According to Dr. Culbertson, microchips are safe and effective, significantly improving the odds for a happy reunion. Town & Country Animal Hospital offers microchipping as part of the veterinary hospital's pet wellness care services. According to Dr. Culbertson, summer is a common time for lost pets, due to the increase in vacation travel and outdoor activities. July 4th can rank high among the dates for losing pets, as fireworks cause many to become scared, nervous and skittish.

"During the summer, we see an increase in lost pets, especially in conjunction with July 4th fireworks and celebrations," said Dr. Culbertson. "Microchipping pets significantly increases the likelihood of a reunion between lost pets and their owners, especially if a lost pet wanders far from home or is lost while owners are on vacation."

A microchip is a small chip, approximately the size of a rice grain, which is implanted between the shoulders of a cat or dog. Each microchip is encoded with a unique serial number.

Should a missing animal be located, a vet hospital or animal shelter will scan the pet for a microchip. If one is found, the hospital can securely log into a microchip database and match the pet's unique serial number to the pet owner's contact information.

Unlike pet tags or collars, the contact information associated with a pet's unique microchip can be updated instantly online. Contact information is completely secure and can only be accessed by an authorized veterinary hospital or animal shelter.

Dr. Culbertson stressed that one reason why microchips are so effective is that a pet's contact information can quickly be updated. "If a pet owner changes phone numbers or moves, it takes only seconds to update this information online," said Dr. Culbertson. "Most importantly, if pets travel with their owners on vacation, an owner can quickly add new contact information based on their vacation rental. This added flexibility makes it easier to reunite lost pets with their owners."

Microchips are typically implanted at the same time as spay/neuter operations, although they can be implanted at any time during a pet wellness appointment.

For over 16 years, Town & Country Animal Hospital has provided pet wellness services, including vaccinations, pet surgery, and health check-ups. Pet owners may learn more about these services, as well as the benefits of microchipping, by visiting http://www.bestocalavet.com/.

CONTACT: Town & County Animal Hospital 888-667-5235Source: Town &Country Animal Hospital