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News causes 185 percent more owners to microchip

Happy stories of lost pets being reunited with their owners tend to make most people think twice about what they would do if they lost their pet. But a recent story of a Colorado cat turning up in New York City and getting its microchip scanned to return to its family caused the number of owners microchipping their pets to jump 185 percent, Reuters reports.

After the discovery of Willow the cat, who was found, scanned, and returned to her adoring family across the nation, the rates jumped astronomically in just a week, the news source reports.

According to the Christian Science Monitor, Willow had been missing for five years before she turned up on the streets of New York City, where animal rescue workers scanned her for a microchip. The address that came up from the rice-sized chip was in Colorado.

In 2010, 26 percent of dogs had implanted microchips, compared to just 17 percent in 2009, according to an annual survey of pet owners by American Pet Products Association. Although fewer cats have microchips than dogs, their numbers also rose after Willow's rescue.

Microchips are an incredible technology, but should be considered the last line of defense against losing your pet. Collars with ID tags, good supervision, and spreading the word swiftly if your pet does go missing are all vital steps to ensure your pet's safe return.
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