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Urgent Warning - Pets Lives In Danger

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I posted this warning in the Cats SOS Forum over a month ago. Today it came to pass. An animal with an ISO chip was euthanized after being scanned several times with a US standard chip reader. The ISO European chip was not detected. This was not the shelters fault, nor the dogs, nor the owners. The clinic, Banfield Pet Hospital, located in Petsmart does not and did not disclose that the chips cannot be read by the scanners currently in almost every US animal shelter and animal control. They have not made their "version" of a scanner universally available therefore:

Please see the requote below and check out the other post in the Cats SOS forum.

I am begging people to get informed and make sure of what they are getting.

Microchip WARNING


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.

post #2 of 16
Mark, that is just unbelievable that such a large company like Banfield could do this and get away with it! So I take it there are no regulations in force that pertain to this type of situation?
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by valanhb
Mark, that is just unbelievable that such a large company like Banfield could do this and get away with it! So I take it there are no regulations in force that pertain to this type of situation?
Yep. There may be legal repercussions from this. Both the shelter and the veterinary practice could face lawsuits but more importantly - there are animals who may end up dead and no lawsuit will bring them back. Banfields paperwork and information does not disclose that there are not readers in place. Kinda like "Lo-jack" without any detectors in police cars. Just with fatal consequences. We are issuing a press release shortly.
post #4 of 16
Mark, I replied to your warning on the SOS forum, explaining that I'll probably have to bring some dogs (chipped) from the US to Germany. Do you happen to know whether it's possible to have new microchips implanted without removing the old ones? In other words, would two different microchips "interfere" with each other? I emailed the manufacturer of our cat's microchip with this question, and got a "no idea" reply.
post #5 of 16
Holy...! This is bullshit. Kitty has HomeAgain and Robin has Avid, so at least they're safe. Interesting: http://www.saveourstrays.com/chips.htm

Hopefully this stops and microchips once again become the lifesavers they should be.
post #6 of 16
Thanks for the article, Weatherlight. It sounds as if two microchips wouldn't interfere with each other: "Once implanted into the animal, the microchip remains inactive until read with a scanner. Scanners send a low-radio-frequency-signal to the chip, providing the power needed by the microchip to send its unique code back to the scanner with the animal's ID number. After implantation, the device remains with the animal for life. Once the microchip is inserted it would require a veterinarian to surgically remove the chip."
post #7 of 16
I was at PetSmart the other day and asked an employee at Banfield whether they were going to change out the use of their chip...she curted replied No and that they have supplied ACOs and Shelters with readers.

post #8 of 16
Thanks Katie,

I shared this with a bunch of people and I'm sure they will be mailing it on as well. That is just horrible.
post #9 of 16
I think all chips should be universal...otherwise...what is the point?? We are in the business of saving lives...not supplying 2 or 3 scanners that must be used on each animal..that makes no sense.

post #10 of 16
I'm panicking here!!. Rosie was chipped at the cattery that she went to here in the UK. How do i find out if hers is safe?
post #11 of 16
It should say the microchip type on the paperwork they gave you, and on her microchip tag.
post #12 of 16
Originally Posted by rosiemac
I'm panicking here!!. Rosie was chipped at the cattery that she went to here in the UK. How do i find out if hers is safe?
Don't panic, unless you're planning on taking Rosie to the U.S.. As I understand it, the standard European chips can't be read by (some of?) the scanners in use in the U.S., but you shouldn't have any trouble at home. Jamie's chip is "Virbac Back Home", and I was told it definitely could be read all over Europe (he's registered with the EuropeanPetNetwork and two German databanks), although his animal passport calls it "global animal identification". If Rosie and Sophie don't have animal passports yet, don't worry about it. The EU has decided to introduce new ones valid in all 25 member states, and they'll be issued starting in June or July, so that they'll get them from your vet during a visit any time after that.
post #13 of 16
JCat: Thanks for putting my mind at rest
post #14 of 16
The only chance for an animal to be id'ed here is if it has an ID tag. Most places (shelters and pounds) have no scanner whatsoever
post #15 of 16
I am an animal welfare advocate working with Banfield, The Pet Hospital® on a plan to help shelters receive free and affordable scanners to support a major technology upgrade in microchipping. I wanted to pass along this message from Banfield about the topic. Microchipping is a great tool to help cats who are lost get back home again - if we can increase the use of microchips by cat owners, and get the shelters equipped with scanners to read all microchips in use in the US.
Banfield, the Pet Hospital, continues to make significant efforts to educate animal shelters nationwide about the importance of scanning for all microchips currently implanted in Pets in the U.S. and throughout the world. It also is very important for Pet owners to ask their local animal control agencies to scan for all microchip technologies, including both the older 125-kHz and the newer 134-kHz international standard microchips.

Sadly, a male pit bull was euthanized at a Virginia area animal control agency because the shelter failed to use its ISO-compliant scanner, which it received from the manufacturer last January. The Pet’s collar was missing when he entered the shelter. He was euthanized after the shelter kept him longer than the required hold period and received no owner inquiry. Unfortunately, the shelter was in possession of a free ISO scanner that would have read the newer microchip and reunited him with his family, but was not using it to scan Pets.

“We have contacted the family to express our heartfelt sympathy,†said Alex Schrage, Banfield Vice President. “We are devastated about this tragic accident, and we want to make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else’s Pet. We are working very hard to educate our clients about the advantages and the limitations of microchipping as a form of identification. The Virginia shelter told us they now will use their ISO scanner. We applaud this change in their scanning process, and hope others will make the change, too.â€

Before starting its microchipping program, Banfield worked with microchip distributor Crystal Tag® to provide free scanners to shelters across the country, with a focus on shelters within a 25-mile radius of each veterinary hospital. Banfield also has worked hard to communicate with shelters about the importance of scanning for ISO microchips, and to educate clients in writing and in person about the limitations of microchipping, whether with the old chip or the new.

All Pets receiving microchips at Banfield also receive a collar tag identifying them as having a microchip and contact information. Pet owners receive educational brochures about the importance of using collar tags in addition to microchipping, and a follow-up letter explaining the benefits and limitations of microchipping technology as the marketplace endures a period of transition. Banfield understands how important it is for Pet owners to be aware that not all welfare agencies will read ISO microchips, or any other microchip on the market. For that reason, microchips should not replace the use of collar tag identification.

Some shelters still may not understand the critical need to scan every Pet for every standard of microchip, and some may need time to obtain the necessary scanners. To further help, Banfield is continuing to donate extra scanners from its hospitals to local shelters, and increasing efforts to educate shelters about scanning for all microchips.

Lost Pets with microchips – of any standard – have a better chance of being reunited with their families than Pets without microchips. But less than 5% of Pets currently have this permanent identification. Banfield hopes to foster increased awareness of microchipping, ultimately leading to its widespread use. In the end, the goal is to ensure more lost Pets are reunited with their families. In fact, since February, Banfield already has reunited ISO microchipped Pets with their families in five states.
post #16 of 16
Joyce - I have merged your thread with Mark Kumpf's thread as they are both on the same subject.
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