[PET OHANA ]
COURTESY KIMO GREENE
Kimo Greene and his dog Maka were reunited when the 125-pound puppy got lost -- thanks to Maka's microchip.
Microchips for pets offer reliable way to identify them
Identifying pets is high tech at the Hawaiian Humane Society. A microchip ID, about the size of a grain of rice, can be painlessly and permanently implanted in our dog and cat friends, helping to reunite stray pets with worried owners. Microchips usually cost $25 and up, but 24 participating veterinary clinics offer the IDs for only $5 this month.
The microchip is injected under the skin between the shoulder blades, in a process similar to a vaccination. It won't come off, and it never needs to be cleaned, providing a lifetime of security. Collars with tags and dog licenses are also useful, but they can be removed.
Thanks to this high-tech tool, 4,243 pets were returned to their Oahu homes last year. Many of the pets were identified by the microchip's unique digital code, which corresponds to owner information in the society's database.
In the past year, 10,199 pet microchip numbers have been added to the database, for a total of about 120,000 pets now implanted with this security measure.
A lost pet with a microchip will be held for a minimum of nine days at the shelter before being put up for adoption. For those without identification, the wait time is a minimum 48 hours.
Entrepreneur Kimo Greene has twice learned how vital a microchip ID can be. When his beloved Rottweiler, Pahina, was stolen off his porch in Kalihi, Greene was overwhelmed with grief. Two years later the Humane Society called, telling him Pahina had been found in Makakilo.
"I was so shocked to hear she was alive and well, and so happy to see her again," said Greene. "She remembered me as soon as we saw each other. Without her microchip, I don't think we ever would have been reunited."
When Greene's Rottweiler Maka got lost in Palolo Valley, he was found by a firefighter and returned home, again thanks to his microchip. Greene's newest Rottie, Roxi, has a microchip, too.
If you've lost a pet, the Humane Society has another means of bringing about a reunion: Our Web site, www.hawaiianhumane.org, has a lost-and-found section, with photos of found strays that are updated daily.
A $10,000 grant from Hawaiian Telcom covered the cost of expanding the Web site and adding features to the lost-and-found section to make it more effective.
Precautions you should take:
» Microchip your pets and place tags on collars. Update microchip information when you move, change phone numbers, acquire a previously owned pet or when your pet dies.
» Keep cats indoors. Make your yard escape-proof to keep your dog in.
» If you find a stray, immediately call the society: 946-2187, ext. 2.
$5 and 5 minutes
During August, participating veterinary clinics are waiving all fees for implanting microchip IDs except the $5 cost of the microchip. The process takes just five minutes. Call for an appointment:
Aina Haina Pet Hospital, 373-2111
Animal Clinic, 734-0255
The Animal Hospital of Hawaii, 732-7387
Blue Cross Animal Hospital, 593-2532
Cat-Bird Vet Mobile Hospital, 623-5466
The Cat Clinic, 732-8884
Companion Animal Hospital, 262-8141
Ewa Beach Animal Hospital, 689-1797
Feather and Fur Animal Clinic, 254-1548
Haiku Veterinary Clinic, 235-6405
Hawaii Kai Veterinary Clinic, 395-2302
Island Veterinary Care, 944-0003
Kailua Animal Clinic, 263-8863
Kalihi Pet Clinic, 951-8808
Kapalama Pet Hospital, 841-2861
Kokua Pet Clinic, 843-8382
Makai Animal Clinic, 262-9621
Mililani Mauka Veterinary Clinic, 626-7600
Newtown Veterinary Clinic, 488-3667
Ohana Veterinary Hospital, 845-1762
The Pet Doctor, 733-8828
Wahiawa Animal Hospital, 621-7000
Waianae Veterinary Clinic, 696-4161
Waipahu-Leeward Veterinary Clinic, 671-4095