I like to wander sometimes. I once went to a new farm for Thanksgiving weekend. Another time, a client had a two-horse trailer, and four horses that needed Coggins tests. I decided to go home with them after the first round, check out their farm, and then return to the Clinic with them. That’s not quite how the humans saw my adventure, but that’s what I was up to. Why do I bring up my little reconnaissance missions? Microchips. That’s why. I’m chipped, Teannie is chipped, and all my minions have their horses chipped. Read on and I will let you know why every animal should be chipped.


Hurricanes Happen


June 1st through November there’s this great add-on season in Florida. It’s called Hurricane Season. I love watching the humans compare weather apps, Florida Storms Twitter feed, and stalk Jim Cantore like he’s the latest, greatest teenage boy band member.


equine microchipYou humans do this so you can be prepared for the pandemonium and chaos caused by hurricanes. They take down trees, annihilate power lines, and take down fences. All this leads to fantastic opportunities for your horses (and cats, and dogs) to explore the neighborhood without proper adult supervision. Microchips ensure the nice people who find your horse (or dog, or cat) can easily return them to you! Microchips are the reason nearly all horses were successfully reunited with their owners after Hurricane Katrina.


The Rules


Admittedly, I’m not one for rules. They say ‘don’t get on the keyboard’, I say ‘watch how many keys I can press in one pass’. However, I can get behind the microchip rules several organizations are putting in place. The Jockey Club began requiring microchips for Thoroughbreds for 2017. No more trying to figure out if that’s a F or an A or a B or an E on that lip tattoo!


US Equestrian has also put in a rule that all horses showing in USHJA divisions are microchipped beginning December 2017. This should reduce the, umm, inappropriate identity changes some horses get so they can stay in certain divisions.


Permanent Identification


The number one thing microchips provide is a permanent, unalterable way to identify a horse (or cat, or dog). Now, you may have read stories on the internet about how someone changed a microchip number, or removed one from a horse. Take it from this cat: not everything you read on the internet is true! I know it’s hard to believe, but the 52 thoroughbreds all have homes, and microchips can’t be removed or altered.


Be Prepared


Hurricane season is coming, and so is December 2017. No matter your reason, your horse should be microchipped. What if the unimaginable happened, and it was a picture of your horses walking down the side of the highway that was making the rounds on Facebook? I know it would be worth $60 to you for the sheriff’s department to be able to find out who they belong to and get them home safely. Not everyone is a celebrity cat like me, after all.