A recent study by Ohio State University has found that microchipped pets who made it to shelters were reunited with their owners in almost three out of four cases.

In fact, the return rate for microchipped cats was 20 times higher. It’s the first comprehensive microchip study, according to Linda Lord, the study’s author and an assistant professor of veterinary preventive medicine.

The most effective tactic for finding a lost pet, however, is still a tag on a collar that includes the pets name and the owners phone number.

The study revealed owners were found for 72.7 percent of microchipped animals. Among those found, 73.9 percent wanted the animals back. In cases where owners weren’t found, the reasons included incorrect or disconnected phone numbers (35.4 percent), owners failure to return phone calls or respond to letters (24.3 percent), unregistered microchips (9.8 percent) or microchips registered in a database that differed from the manufacturer (17.2 percent).

What’s your takeaway from this?

  • Tags are still the most effective and immediate means of getting back your lost pet.
  • Microchips are highly effective at reuniting you with your pet if your pet is turned in to a vet or pound.
  • Microchips are NOT “Set it and forget it” technology. You still have to register the chip, and keep your contact info current over the life of the chip.

Got a New Year’s Resolution List? Add to it, “Verify that Fluffy’s microchip has been properly registered and contains our current contact information.”

Read more about the study here.