Dogs accompany their masters on a two-hour Bow Wow Brunch aboard Hornblower Cruises. Photo by Chris Stone

The San Diego Humane Society encouraged pet parents Thursday to microchip their pets in May, which is “National Chip Your Pet Month.”

If the pet is already microchipped, SDHS officials said, pet owners should also confirm that the contact information correlated with the chip is current.

One in three pets will become lost at some point during their lives. Every year, San Diego Humane Society receives nearly 15,000 stray pets and only 25% of them are reunited with their families. A microchip with current information and a collar with tags will improve the chance that a pet returns home if lost or stolen.

“Think of a microchip as a digital leash,” said Jessica Des Lauriers, the San Diego Humane Society’s chief operating officer. “With society opening up, more people are moving around and having visitors, increasing the risk of a pet getting lost. July 4th is just around the corner too, when we typically see many pets frightened by fireworks run away, so now is really the time to make sure your pet is protected.”

The microchip, which is about the size of a grain of rice — around 12 millimeters — is injected beneath the surface of the pet’s skin between the shoulder blades. The process is similar to a routine shot and takes only a few seconds. No anesthetic is required.

The chip transmits the identification number to a scanner, which displays the number on the screen. Veterinary offices and shelters can quickly scan lost pets for microchips and contact owners, making it essential for pet owners to keep their microchip contact information up-to-date when they change phone numbers or move.

The San Diego Humane Society offers microchipping services for $25. To make an appointment, visit sdhumane.org/microchip.

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