Identification of lost pets is now made easy with the city-wide micro-chipping program project of Makati City, the first local government in the country to use the technology in a large-scale setting.
The “PET iChips” are implanted on the shoulders of dogs and cats so owners can track the lost pets through Radio Frequency Identification (RFID).
Once implanted, they are activated for life unless the chip is surgically removed. The PET iCHIP will serve as a permanent pet ID and is read by passing a microchip scanner over the dog’s shoulder blades. The PET iChips are the passive-type microchips which work without batteries.
The bio-thermal microchips, no larger than a grain of rice, will contain information about the dog and its owner as well as data on when the dog was vaccinated against rabies. These details will be uploaded to Makati City’s database which will allow the Makati City Veterinary Services Office (VSO) to closely monitor and check the number of dogs which have been given anti-rabies shots.
The PET iChips are given for free to Makati residents, and implanted on pets by licensed veterinarians from the VSO.
The PET iCHIPs can be implanted on both mature dogs and puppies. The microchips are especially useful to pet owners who travel abroad with their dogs since the chips to be used comply with international standards and the 15-digit numeric code can be scanned anywhere.
“Through the microchipping program, we are protecting both pet dogs and their owners. The technology will enable us to keep tabs on dogs, ensure that they are in the best of health, and return them to their rightful owners in case they get lost. This is important for people like us who consider dogs as part of our families,” Makati Mayor Abby Binay said.
Embedding microchips on dogs have significant advantages. First, it will reduce the cost of redundant vaccination for pet animals as well as humans. It will also promote an absolute pet recovery program since the owner, address, contact information and the dog’s name are all entered in a database which various agencies have access to.
The microchips can identify pets, prevent theft, increase pet recovery after loss, monitor the pet’s temperature and aid in disease monitoring, trace breed and genealogy as well as assist in the transport and rescue of animals.
VSO’s Dr. Jing Mangahas added that apart from the microchip, the VSO will also be issuing “pet passports” for each dog. This will assist owners who travel with their dogs as well as those who bring dogs in from abroad.
The Makati City government is implementing the program in all 27 barangays and six villages.
Schedules for the PET iChip implantation for Makati City pets can be seen on the My Makati Facebook page.