By Michelle Rivera
I went from never owning a dog to having three within 8 months! I started out with a senior Yorkie who was full of spunk. After only 5 months, I decided to get another dog but wasn’t sure what type until I fell in love with a pit bull named Max and let me tell you, I
wasn’t fully aware at how different pit bull owners were treated until I became one. The same people who would run and pick up my Yorkie Lola to cuddle were now crossing to the other side of the street when they saw Max. I was blown away at how quickly I became an outcast amongst the same pet parents at the dog park that I was once friendly with. So I made it my mission to become an advocate for this awesome dog who is so intuitive to what I’m feeling and is nothing but a huge cuddle bug. I was so determined to be an advocate that I decided to get another pit bull but this time a puppy! I was in way over my head but she was just what we needed to complete our family. After having Brooklyn for just a week, the unthinkable happened, she bolted through my door as I was closing it and she was gone. I looked for her everywhere and thankfully, she came home 15 hours later. I was so relieved but also completely unaware at how lucky I was that she managed to find her way back to her very new home because most pet owners aren’t so fortunate.
Since then, I’ve learned that 1 in 3 dogs will go missing in their lifetime and 90% of them never make it home. Pet owners can change this statistic and drastically improve the chances of reuniting with their irreplaceable companions if they simply microchip their pets. Unlike a collar, a microchip can’t be removed and will stay with your pet forever. The chip is the size of a grain of rice that is injected subcutaneously and does not hurt or irritate your pet. No anesthesia or surgery needed. Microchipping your pet is not a tracking device, it is a radio frequency identification device (RFID) that is easily scanned by any universal scanner. The scanner will reveal a unique number which is registered to your contact information so the finder can contact the owner. Over 6.5 million pets are enrolled with HomeAgain, a microchip database, which responsible for reuniting over a million lost pets with their families.
After my personal ordeal of having my beloved Brooklyn go missing, I have never been more adamant about microchipping. As a volunteer for Ambassador Pit Bull Alliance, not only do I get the amazing support on how to be the best dog owner I can be but I also get the opportunity to share my story and advocate the importance of microchipping and how it could potentially save your dog’s life. APBA offers FREE microchipping for all pit bull type dogs and will gladly microchip all other dogs for a donation of $15. The process only takes about 5 minutes and can be done anywhere, no need to make an appointment at the vet.
Photographs courtesy of Jeanne Taylor Photography/Pet Portraits