Lost and Found
Rebecca Mannor, Division 1, 6th grade #ws17e-s2d1
10 million. 10 million dogs and cats become lost or stolen each year. And one in three dogs and cats become lost at some point of their life. Why agonize over losing your best friend? Why make your best furry friend suffer? Pondering this question results in my bafflement regarding why people don’t take advantage in the technology that allows pets to be reunited with their families. The answer is so simple. A microchip. An important fact to know is that only 10 percent of the unidentified and lost animals return home. The other 90 percent never see their loved ones again. This thought saddens me. Microchipping a dog or cat can be inexpensive and many shelters microchip their adoptable pets before new owners take them home.

Many stories can be found linking owners with their missing pets that have been microchipped. And every day, more and more stories turn up, proving the success of a microchip. Some articles are very touching, stating how some pets were reunited with their owners after a long period of time. I consider these stories more remarkable because they show the permanence and reliability of microchips. One story in particular caught my attention. A cat, thought to be lost in 1995, was found by animal control officers thirteen years later. George, the cat, who originally weighed fourteen pounds, only weighed 6.3 pounds when he was located. He was suffering from a respiratory infection as well as toxoplasmosis, a parasitic disease. The fate of this cat was decided when vets discovered that George was chipped. He was returned home on November 5, 2008, a week after he was found by animal control. This information demonstrates that if pet owners chip their pets, they are safer if they wander out into the world and get lost. And one day, they could be returned to the loving arms that once held them.

A microchip is about the size of a grain of rice, and can be implanted in all different kinds of pets, without the use of anesthetics. The pet microchip uses radio waves to transmit data. The information is a unique identification number, which corresponds with the owner's contact information. A hand-held scanner is used to read the radio waves. Implantation of a microchip can cost as little as twenty-five dollars, and registration fees vary, depending on what company an owner chooses. Special feeding bowls that are activated by a pet's microchip are available for purchase. The implanted chip from the pet opens the bowl, and only that designated pet can eat from it.

To me, the invention of microchips is an important technology because people love their pets and want to keep them safe and sound. Taking the time and spending a small amount of money in order for one’s furry friend to live life out of harm's way, is what makes microchips an innovative piece of technology. Is your pet microchipped?
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