June is National Pet Preparedness Month and National Microchip Month.

Thanks to a grant from Michelson’s Pet Foundation and our partnership with Auburn Veterinary Hospital, we are proud to announce that we are offering a microchip clinic on Wednesday, June 24, from noon until 2 p.m.

At only $10 per microchip, this is an excellent deal for the peace of mind provided by microchipping. Only cash will be accepted for the microchip clinic and will be paid to Auburn Veterinary Hospital.

As the weather is expected to be warm and the clinic is happening outside at Auburn Veterinary Hospital, be sure to bring water for yourself and your pet.

Microchip clients may arrive no earlier than noon to ensure access for regularly scheduled veterinary clients. We have 200 microchips available for this clinic, and pet parents may line up between noon and 2 p.m. while supplies last.

The importance of microchips

Microchipping helps lost pets to be reunited with their families as quickly as possible.

When an animal is brought to the Lee County Humane Society, one of the first things our intake staff does is scan for microchip information and call the phone number linked to the microchip registration. Veterinary clinics, shelters and animal control agencies follow this procedure to reunite pets with their owners quickly.

Unlike identification tags attached to a pet’s collar, which can fall off, the microchip is secure and permanent.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, microchipping significantly increases the chance of reuniting with one’s pet.

While some microchipped pets weren’t reunited with their owners, the majority of these cases involved microchips that weren’t linked to the pet owner’s contact information or weren’t updated with the correct information, underscoring the importance of contacting the microchip company when one’s contact information changes.

Including pets in emergencies and disaster preparedness

One situation in which pets often find themselves lost is during a natural disaster or emergency, in which frightened pets may try to run to safety only to find themselves lost.

Fortunately, thoughtful preparation can help to keep pets safe.

The ASPCA’s Disaster Preparedness Page and Ready.gov’s Pets and Animals Page provide useful information in severe weather.

When storms are expected, it is best to confine pets indoors. It is also advisable to place pets in their crates or a safe interior room or storm shelter as soon as a tornado warning is issued.

As the storm gets closer and pets can hear loud thunder and wind, they may become difficult to catch. Rescue alert stickers indicating how many pets are in the house can alert rescue workers to their presence in the home.

Ready.gov advises for all households to have a disaster preparedness kit available in advance.

When putting together a disaster preparedness kit, be sure to consider pets. A week’s worth of food and water for each person and pet should be part of this kit. A first-aid kit and a pet first aid manual is another essential part of a disaster kit.

During evacuations and after a disaster

If evacuating, essentials such as food and water bowls, medications, kennel lining for dogs and litter for cats should be packed along with a crate for each animal. It may be helpful to have a list of pet-friendly hotels on hand as well.

Extra collars, leashes, complete medical information and rabies tags for each pet are also helpful in case the animals need to be brought to a boarding facility on an evacuation route or during disaster recovery.

A picture of your pet and yourself with your pet can be helpful for reunification purposes if you are somehow separated.

By following the above guidelines, pet parents can protect the safety of both human and animal members of the household during disasters and emergencies.

Column by Kelly Daniel, volunteer coordinator with the Lee County Humane Society.

Column by Kelly Daniel, volunteer coordinator with the Lee County Humane Society.

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