A backyard gate left ajar or a door left open a moment too long can bring anguish to a Maltese dog owner and danger to a pet loose and lost. A new procedure of microchipping pets can help some animals find their way home.

Looking for a way of identifying your Maltese so if it's lost they could be recovered? The procedure involves injecting a microchip encased in a plastic tube under the pet's skin between the shoulder blades. The chip itself is inert, it has no battery and uses no energy. When a scanner is run over the part of the animal that contains the chip, the scanner will display a number, which will match your Maltese up with its veterinarian and eventually, it's owner. You can't feel it, you can't even tell the chip is there. It's not disfiguring and it doesn't require sedation for insertion like other permanent identification can. It can't be changed and it can't be altered.

Inserting the microchip takes only about as long as vaccinations. And almost any pet can be microchipped including turtles, snakes, birds and ferrets as well as cats and dogs. But the chip is not a replacement for a collar and tags. For more information ask your vet as most are now very familar with this procedure. The AKC Companion Animal Recovery program will enroll any animal identified with a microchip (regardless of the manufacturer) or any other type of permanent indentification for a one-time fee of $12.50, an animal is enrolled for life. The recovery service is in operation 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Schering-Plough is distributing the microchip under the name of HomeAgain®. The AKC is providing database management services for a national recovery program. For more information about HomeAgain® call 1-800-566-3596 or you can contact AKC Companion Animal Recovery direct by calling 1-800-252-7894, or by fax at 1-919-233-1290.


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