Support Low-Cost Companion Animal Microchip Clinics

Target: Director of the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Animal Welfare Division Dr. Gail C. Golab

Goal: Introduce a fund specifically designated for low-cost microchip clinics to ensure that more lost pets are reunited with their families.

Microchips are small, harmless electronic devices that are implanted in the backs of cats and dogs. Microchipping is considered the most effective method of reuniting lost pets with their families, since collars can come off or be removed. In order to ensure that lost pets don’t end up in shelters and potentially euthanized, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), which represents over 80,000 veterinarians nationwide, should set up and promote a fund for low-cost microchip clinics.

A study conducted in 2009 of more than 7,700 stray animals revealed that dogs without microchips were returned to their owners only 21.9 percent of the time, while dogs with microchips were returned 52.2 percent of the time. Cats without microchips were returned only 1.8 percent of the time, while cats with microchips were returned 38.5 percent of the time. This study proves the overwhelming effectiveness of microchips.

The average cost to microchip a pet at a veterinarian is around 45 dollars, which is cost-prohibitive to many Americans. Many animal shelters microchip pets before adopting them out, and also offer low-cost microchip clinics. If the AVMA were to sponsor a fund for low-cost microchip clinics in veterinary offices nationwide, families, shelters, and local governments alike would reap the benefits. If a majority of pets entering shelters were microchipped, it would drastically reduce the cost to shelters since more animals would be returned quickly.

Between 3 and 4 million companion animals in shelters are euthanized each year. If more pets were microchipped, this number could be significantly reduced, saving shelters and the governments that fund them untold amounts of money and efforts. The AVMA should do its part to make microchipping more accessible to American pet owners.


Dear Dr. Golab,

As I’m sure you’re well aware, between 3 and 4 million companion animals are euthanized in shelters each year. Besides spaying and neutering, the most effective strategy we have to reduce these numbers is by microchipping pets. Since the AVMA is the largest organization representing veterinarians, it should play a role in making microchips more accessible to American pet owners.

On average, it costs around 45 dollars to have a pet microchipped at a vet’s office. This amount is cost-prohibitive for many Americans. Also, many are not familiar with the technology. Many shelters are doing their part by microchipping pets they are adopting out, or offering low-cost microchip clinics. It is time the AVMA promoted the benefits of microchipping and set up a fund to make this procedure more affordable.

Microchipping is a highly effective strategy to reducing the number of pets who are euthanized, and can save shelters untold amounts of money since more pets would be quickly returned to their families. Please do your part to promote microchipping and set up a fund for low-cost microchip clinics.


[Your Name Here]

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