McNeil Labradors

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Puppy Ownership 

“The responsibility we have as breeders”
Written from a breeder’s perspective…

By Margo Carter, NLRC Education - February 2005 

After reading a thought provoking microchip editorial in the last newsletter, I realize the importance of education and our continued obligation as breeders.  It is our responsibility to insure our puppies are properly identified.  It is also important for us to understand the identification process defined by AVID.

Microchip pre-registration taps an unprecedented window of opportunity - a “good thing”. In other words, pre-registration raises the bar a level.  The motivation to microchip our puppies is very justified if we hope to have them returned. 

Responsibility doesn’t end after whelping a litter, socializing puppies, providing constant care for at least 8 weeks or placement in a new home.  We plan a breeding and tend to everything involved in having a litter of puppies.  We worry about all the things that can go wrong from birth until their death.  How many times does our heart turn a flip when we receive a phone call from someone who adopted a puppy that we haven’t heard from in a while?  Our immediate thought is, “Oh, I hope everything is alright”.  

Often times we don’t think about what would happen if the new owner forgets to register the microchip that was so carefully implanted in our puppy.  This is a very important part of owning our “breeder” responsibility! 

Puppy ownership is an exciting experience - sometimes overwhelming.  It’s an adventure that comes with a lot of information that we as breeders dole out - puppy care, vaccination requirements, training information, registration information (AKC, UKC registry etc.), puppy agreements/contracts and health guarantee.  And then, we give the puppy owner one more piece of paper – the microchip registration form!  WOW – we’ve just pumped a whole lot of “do this and do that” detail in the heads of the loving family waiting anxiously to take their new puppy home. 

In most cases, when we breeders, purchase AVID microchips, the chip numbers are registered to us or our kennel at “point of purchase”.  This information is kept in AVID databases at the breeder division.  Through the breeder database, AVID is able to trace the chip number back to us however, the breeder program is not a 24/7 paid recovery service for lost pets. 

In an attempt to work more closely with shelters by helping reduce the time to locate pet owners; AVID Microchip I.D. has the key solution - a program for breeders that offers a pre-registration package in PETtrac.  We can pass this package on to new puppy owners.   

PETtrac is a global, 24 hour disaster and recovery network that receives over 800 phone calls per day.  PETtrac maintains the database of information on puppy and owner.   When you purchase the pre-registered microchip, the number is tied to PETtrac automatically, as soon as the enrollment form is received and processed at the PETtrac call center.    The microchip number is used by shelters and anyone who finds a lost pet.   Because the microchip is pre-registered, the information is stored in the PETtrac data base and recovery time results in few phone calls and minimizes re-location time.  

The pre-registration package includes the microchip, and the postage paid, prepaid lifetime enrollment registration form and Certificate of Ownership.  In addition to the cost of the microchip, we pay $7.50 for each pre-registered lifetime enrollment. This is half the price the new puppy owner would otherwise pay to register the chip with PETtrac.  The main difference in pre-registration and the basic “point of purchase or breeder level” package is that we, the breeder have more control over our puppy because we have already paid for and started the microchip registration process.  The new owner information (brochure and certificate) can be completed by us when our new owner picks up their puppy.  The Certificate of Ownership is given to the new owner who will later be notified with a welcome letter from PETtrac when the owner/puppy information is entered in the system.  

The pre-registration provides for two contacts, the new owner and an alternate. The alternate contact can be the breeder, so either way, the puppy is in PETtrac; and WE are in the loop 24/7.  This enables us to sell our puppies as “micro- chipped” and “registered” in the PETtrac Recovery Network.

This is an exciting time for a new puppy owner and the more we can to do to streamline the process by owning our responsibility, the greater the reward later – greater assurance of the lost pet being returned to their owner.  

Wouldn’t it be nice if the microchip provided a person’s name and phone number as opposed to a row of numbers?  This is a great idea but very unrealistic.   Every time owner information changes, the microchip would have to be extracted from the pet and re-programmed with the new information.  Extraction = unnecessary surgery, NOT GOOD!  What about the cost to reprogram the chip if this were possible?  ASTRONOMICAL! 

How do people know to call AVID?  Animal shelters and animal control officers have been educated and informed about microchip identification and how it works.  Shelters use industry-wide, cross-compatible scanners that read all chips operating at a certain frequency.  Once a microchip is located in a pet, the appropriate steps are taken.  If the pet is registered with AVID's PETtrac Recovery System, the shelter will be given the owner's name.  If the pet is not registered, they will be given the name of the veterinarian or the breeder who injected the microchip. 

Herein, lies the potential for bottleneck and numerous phone calls.  Veterinary office staff may wind up sifting through mounds of client records to find the owner of the microchipped pet.  If the microchip is traced back to the breeder from the “point of purchase/breeder level package”, this might take longer depending on time of day or day of the week.  Remember, this isn’t a 24/7 recovery service.  The breeder might be on a show circuit for a week and not able to be reached.   In the meantime, someone’s beloved companion waits in the shelter while shelter staffs continue to try locating the pet owner.  

The vast majority of shelters in this country are staffed with people who share the same compassion we have for our pets.  They truly want to help reunite “Fido” with his family, but the process takes time if the pet owner isn’t aware of the PETtrac enrollment process.

Pre-registration/pre-paid lifetime enrollment alleviates a call to the veterinarian or breeder and goes straight to PETtrac.  I encourage you to educate yourselves on the enrollment process.  For more information, call or visit the AVID website:

This article has been reviewed for accuracy by AVID Microchip I.D. (February 2005)

McNeil Labradors
Statesville, NC 28677

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Last Updated:  January 29, 2008

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  Thought For The Day:

"We give dogs time we can spare, space we can
spare and love we can spare. And in return, dogs give us their all. It's
the best deal man has ever made." - M. Facklam