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Microchip WARNING

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
HSUS, ASPCA, NACA, and other national animal care and control organizations have issued a warning to pet owners that new ISO microchips offered by Banfield and other pet hospitals may place your pets at risk. These chips are not able to be read by the scanners currently in place in almost every animal control / humane society nationwide. US standard chips offered by AVID and Schering Plough share a standard chip frequency and the readers in place for this style has proven one pass detection readers in widespread distribution. The "universal" scanners offered that read both styles do not meet this criteria at this time. Shelters are hard pressed to manage one scan one pass and multiscan multipass situations will render the procedure spotty at best.
From the HSUS Press Release:
"The warning comes as another company has entered the microchip market and is selling micro-chips in approximately 440 veterinary clinics housed in one of the nation’s largest pet product retailers. Yet the company has not provided the end-users such as many of the nation’s shelters, humane societies and veterinary hospitals with compatible scanners needed to detect the chips. As a result, the animal protection groups recommend that pet owners thinking about getting their pets micro-chipped contact both the chip manufacturer and their local shelter to make certain that compatible scanners are present in their community."

The Virginia Animal Control Association will be discussing this at our April 7 board meeting and will likely adopt a position on these chips on that date. Groups utilizing microchips should be aware that few if ANY Virginia shelters have multifrequency readers in place at this time; therefore, the chips do NOT provide the protection represented in their claims until the scanners ARE in place. Be careful and follow the advice in the release. The pet's life you save may be your own.


For more information on the release look at the link below.

http://www.hsus.org/ace/20788
post #2 of 21
Oh no! Thanks for the warning.
post #3 of 21
AARGH! Why isn't there a universal (international) standard? I can envision the same problem once all passports include "biometric data" - everybody "does their own thing", and as a result the scanners will in many cases be useless. Is there an international body that could regulate such things for pets? Does the U.S. recognize the Geneva-based Green Cross? Our cat is tattooed, and the number is registered with two German data banks. He is microchipped, and the transponder # is registered with two German and one European organization. He has a "Green Cross Vaccination Passport", and as of July I have to get him a "European Union Pet Passport" (new). My mom is 72 and in poor health. If she dies, I will have to go and get her two (or three - one dog is quite old and has kidney disease, and probably won't be able to travel, so my niece will presumably have to take him) dogs and cat and bring them back here. They're chipped, but the Virginia-based manufacturer said that the standard scanners here in Germany wouldn't be able to read the chips. The "Green Cross Vaccination Passport" isn't issued in Nebraska, so I'll have to convince the authorities here to accept the vaccination tags issued there, and have the pets rechipped. So much for the "global community".
post #4 of 21
Thanks for info
post #5 of 21
Thanks for the warning - good to know.
post #6 of 21
Yup - Global Community, alright. Every country and company still thinks it must have its own standard.

Like with the EIGHT different systems for Cellphones in the world, totally incompatible with each other. Most countries, quite wisely, selected ONE standard for licensing. Here in the U.S., seven of the eight co-exist - which is why most of ours don't work outside the country, and why we have no single truly nationwide carrier.

And we know how Japan and China dominate the market for consumer electronic goods, right? Little known fact: They have to produce FIVE variants of each new goodie, to accomodate the differing standards (voltage and plug type) for "normal household plug-in power" throughout the world.

So, two chip standards aren't as bad as it could be - though it will be a pain until the readers are in place.

Change and progress are always a pain for someone - but if nobody ever strayed from "the established standard", we would still be stuck with rotary-dial phones, black & white TV, AM radio, and quill pens - just to name a few examples.
post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally posted by Clemmie
So, two chip standards aren't as bad as it could be - though it will be a pain until the readers are in place.

Change and progress are always a pain for someone - but if nobody ever strayed from "the established standard", we would still be stuck with rotary-dial phones, black & white TV, AM radio, and quill pens - just to name a few examples.
You're right, of course, but my nightmare is that my cat will get out and become lost, and whoever finds him will take him to a vet with the "wrong" scanner! I've seen this happen too many times - a stray is tattooed, but the shelter only checks with one registry, shrugs "its" shoulders and says,"I guess the owner never registered the number!" A pet can't be replaced like an electronic device.
post #8 of 21
Thanks for the info. I'll keep this in mind while talking to people at the shelter. We do not microchip animals at our shelter due to the cost factor, but we often get questions about microchipping. I personally think it's a good idea. My boys are microchipped with AVID chips. Thanks again.
post #9 of 21
My cats are all microchipped and with each chip, came a tag which says, "I have a microchip. Please scan me." This tag goes on their collar so that if they're found, they'll know the cats are microchipped, even if their particular reader isn't registering. Trouble is, if they slip out of their collar, that tag is gone. I think the one cat shelter that we have here in Perth uses 2 different scanners to cater for different chips.
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Kumbulu
My cats are all microchipped and with each chip, came a tag which says, "I have a microchip. Please scan me." This tag goes on their collar so that if they're found, they'll know the cats are microchipped, even if their particular reader isn't registering. Trouble is, if they slip out of their collar, that tag is gone. I think the one cat shelter that we have here in Perth uses 2 different scanners to cater for different chips.
Perth is a wonderful place. I been there twice and ended up in a serious pub crawl downtown. Hope to be back in 2005. Are you talking about the dog refuge?
post #11 of 21
Hi Mark, sorry I took so long to reply, I've only just seen your reply. Yes, Perth is a lovely place, much quieter than Melbourne (where I'm originally from) or Sydney but livley enough to be fun. Sounds like you went to Fremantle or Northbridge.

With the microchips, I'm talking about the Cat Haven in Shenton Park. The dog refuge is on the same road, directly opposite.
post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 
I hate it when I am right. Stafford County Animal Control euthanized a dog that they had held for 8 days (3 longer than required by law) that had been scanned MULTIPLE times (in the field, at intake, and prior to euthanasia). The dog had (in the owner's words) a "Petsmart chip" that turned out to be an ISO microchip implanted by Banfield Pet Hospital.

OK> This is no longer a beware this is a plea ---

THESE CHIPS ARE PLACING ANIMALS IN DIRE PERIL. YOUR PET IS NOT --- REPEAT NOT --- PROTECTED WITH THIS CHIP. DO NOT USE THESE CHIPS UNTIL THERE ARE SCANNERS IN EVERY SHELTER AND ALL PLEDGE TO USE BOTH SCANNERS.

The Virginia Animal Control Association will be issuing a press release tomorrow and urging Petsmart to halt the implantation of these chips immediately.
post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 
The Virginia Animal Control Association has established a Legal Defense Fund in response to a letter from Banfield's parent company, MMI, (NOT PETSMART) indicating that they would seek "legal redress" for alleged defamation of their company in the press release. Donations may be sent to:

VACA
5585 Sabre Road
Norfolk VA 23502

Please note "LDF" in the memo section.
post #14 of 21
That is incredibly disappointing...I actually talked to someone who works in our local "banfield" and she acted as if all the shelters and rescues had been provided with scanners...talk about MISLEADING. I'm soooooooo sorry for that dog...we stress how a microchip will help to reunite a dog or cat with it's owner..but it only works if the scanner can pick it up.

Katie
post #15 of 21
Hi All,

Just so we are not all wallowing in sorrow -- in the DC metro area, a group of animal control agencies has already shared the information around about the scanner incompatibilities. Hopefully, this means a lot fewer cases like Stafford Count's dog.

I've known that feeling of wanting to SCREAM to get people to really *hear* the truth. It's frustrating sometimes.
post #16 of 21
I have four cats with Avid Chips, Zoey has an Avid chip and a Home Again, but Katcheenia only has the Bainfield chip.
On the day I got her, I was given the impression that the Bainfield chips could be read, or at least detected by any reader.
Maybe this was a misunderstanding on my part as that was a pretty hectic day, but I was told that all of the area shelters are being sent the new scanners and it would read all of the chips that were in use to-date.
I'm considering getting Katcheenia a second Avid chip just to cover all my bases, that is if I can convince her to come out from under the bed. The Wife can get her to come out, but she just looks at me.

What I can't understand is, why didn't the owner of the animal go to the shelter or at least call them to inquire if the animal was there?
My God, if one of my cats turned up missing, I'd have life-size, full color photos with contact information and lots of dollar signs to get peoples attention and I'd become a fixture at any shelter where said cat might turn up.
Money talks and people go out of their way to listen. I'd make people want to find my cat! If not for the money, than so this fat guy will just go away!

I also noticed that in a Bainfield Clinic in Stockton, California last week, they didn't have any advertisements for the Bainfield chip. I was stuck in a traffic jam on the 99 freeway and since I left Bari's heartguard at home, I could drop right in off the freeway, get his meds and get back into the traffic jam. I think I even got the same spot behind the same car!

I thought that was odd, since they recently started offering it, I thought that they would be letting people know about it. Was the ad campaign pulled? If so, why?

What I think Bainfield was doing was trying to bring everyplace up to the ISOS standard, but it hasn't been working out like they hoped.
Maybe I'm wrong, but now I have something else to worry about.
Like I needed that.
post #17 of 21
Thread Starter 
I received an email today from PetsMart stating that Banfield has enacted a 45 day moratorium on implanting new ISO chips so that they can focus on distributing more scanners to local shelters. In order to match the current market saturation of the US standard scanners, they will have to distribute approximately 60,000 scanners in a little more than a month.
post #18 of 21
Oh no! How disapointing! I was truly hoping that a chip could help me with lost pets! I lost my first cat,and best childhood friend,Tigger, and it was the most devastating thing I have come across in my life! I would talk,eat or drink for a almost two weeks,till I felt sick,and my friends always told me I was quiet and pale. It was horrible! I NEVER want this kind of thing to happen agian! I wisht they did work.... Anyhow,thank you very much for the warnig. This has saved me and my fellow pet parets,time,money,ingury,and non-safty to our pets. Also alot of disapointment! Thank you so much!
post #19 of 21
Well...I wish the microchip companies would make a chip that could be read by ONE reader....poor shelter employees having to scan each animal with at least 2 different scanners.

Katie
post #20 of 21
I came across two interesting things several years back.

The first was an English Bulldog. He got lost, found - then given away. In the meantime the owner called in a lost report. The lady that found (then gave away) the dog called in a found report.

The shelter I was with was poorly staffed and a connection was not made with the lost/found reports until I scanned through them.

I made MANY calls and had a very hard time getting the lady that gave the dog away to bring him in (she gave him to a friend that breeds english bulldogs) but it finally happened. The owner was also called. Photo ID was established as to whom the owner was, along with medical records (the dog was an epileptic) to support the proof.

When the microchip was scanned, however, the dog showed up registered as a quarter horse.


The other incident involved a migrated microchip. While scanning a stray I couldn't find anything even with a universal scanner. The dog had been held it's five day stray period and no chip was found. Once in the euthanasia room I ALWAYS scan animals numerous times, as I'm the last stop. Luckily, a chip was found, but well down into the dogs armpit area. Once reunited with his owner he was vetted and an x-ray was taken (I forget why) and not only was the chip located, so was a lodged OPEN safety pin the animal had swallowed at some point.
post #21 of 21
There was apparently something about this on the CBS early show... Here is a link to the webpage:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/...in620813.shtml

Some poor dog was put to sleep because the shelter scanned him with the wrong scanner. It is so sad, the worst part being that the shelter did have a scanner that would work with the Banfield chip... if only they had known their 'universal' scanner would not.
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