Your dog missed the bus home from his fulfilling and high-paying job as a treat-tester.

Your cat lost her phone on a spring break road trip and now you can’t get ahold of her.

A strange dog with a foreign accent shows up at your door. He thought his family died long ago, but has heard rumors they are still alive and needs your help.

You run into an older cat at the grocery store. She’s forgotten everything but her name and favorite brand of litter.

Has any of this ever happened to you? My guess is probably. The AKC reports that one out of three pets will go missing at some point in their lifetime. Maybe your pets have a collar and tag to help identify them, and that’s great! The issue with collars/tags, though, is that they are removable. Maybe your teen cat on spring break is embarrassed of her pink collar and heart-shaped tag. She just wants to play pool with the guys and they keep making fun of her for being “girly” (which is another issue in itself but we won’t go into that today), so she takes it off and hides it in the bathroom.

Maybe your dog is well-confined at home. He has his own room, his own secure yard, and his own WiFi to stream his favorite shows. What happens when that isn’t enough? What about when he sneaks out at 2am to take your Corvette for a spin? Maybe he wrecks it miles from home and lies to the police about who he is. How will you find him then?

Maybe your older cat has been equipped with a GPS tracker, so you can see which grocery store she’s headed to. What you didn’t count on, though, is her staying at the store for five hours because she forgot what else she needed to buy. The tracker battery dies at the same time she gives up on shopping and tries to find her way to a dance hall she used to go to 10 years ago. They tore it down last year but her memory’s not so good anymore. What will you do?

Luckily, pets with microchips have a 20 times higher chance of being reunited with their family. Microchipping is the only foolproof way to identify your pet. It’s usually about 12mm in size (no bigger than a grain of rice). It has no moving parts or power source. It’s simply a RFID transponder with a unique identification number which is connected to your contact information.

Too much high-tech mumbo jumbo? A microchip is essentially just a barcode.If someone finds a lost pet, they can bring it to any shelter or vet’s office to be scanned. The scanner will “read” the barcode and show the microchip number.They will then report the ID number to a microchip database which will provide the vet or shelter with the owner’s information. Your contact information will only be given by the microchip company to the shelter/vet staff. The scanner will not show any information other than the microchip number.

How can you get your pet chipped? It’s just like getting a shot. A needle is used to insert the chip between your pet’s shoulder blades, much like a vaccine. Once it’s been implanted, there’s still one more step. YOU MUST REGISTER YOUR MICROCHIP IN ORDER FOR IT TO BE EFFECTIVE! The ID number means nothing if it isn’t connected to your contact information. It’s the difference between being reunited with your pet or your pet becoming someone else’s. And you know they can’t love him like you do.

While microchipping does rely on good Samaritans to bring a pet they found to be scanned, it is still the only permanent way of identifying your furry companion. Here at Gill Bright, we partner with Home Again for our microchips. It’s $47 to insert the microchip, and when you register, you’ll be enrolled in their database for life. Be sure to keep your contact info up to date! For a yearly fee of $20, you can also have additional access to a whole suite of other services including lost pet alerts, a 24/7 emergency medical hotline, as well as travel assistance for pets found far from home.

This month, Gill Bright is sponsoring a Microchip Madness promotion. Get a microchip or scan an existing one to earn tickets. You can also earn tickets by liking our page on Instagram, checking in on Facebook, or leaving a (hopefully glowing) review online. We will have a drawing at the end of the month for a microchip-enabled feeder! This is a neat contraption that saves your pets’ microchip IDs and will only open for authorized pets. It’s perfect for pets who eat specific diets and will also protect victims of food theft! The SureFeed pet feeder can save up to 32 unique microchips so it’s perfect for your whole clan.

Stop by today and enter for a chance to win!