Maryland Pet

Infrequent Microchip Scanning Is Killing Cats

Alley Cat Allies Launches “Plan to Scan” Campaign to Save Cats’ Lives 

BETHESDA, Md., USA – June 1, 2017 – A new Alley Cat Allies campaign is raising awareness that too many companion cats and feral, or community cats are still not being scanned for microchips, resulting in many of them being killed without any benefit from the life-saving information available from microchips.

“More cats are being microchipped, but the information from the microchips can only help return them to their homes if they’re scanned before shelters impound cats,” said Becky Robinson, president and founder of Alley Cat Allies. “Since 70 percent of all cats who enter animal control pounds and shelters are killed, it’s truly a matter of life and death to remind veterinary staff and animal control officers to scan for microchips more often.”

Microchips are a permanent ID tag—a single microchip can last a cat’s entire life. Implantation is quick, simple, inexpensive, essentially painless, and virtually stress-free for animals. Each microchip has a unique number to access contact information about the cat’s caregiver or owner from an online database.

Alley Cat Allies, which is the nation’s leading advocate for cats, launched the “Plan to Scan” campaign to encourage people to get cats microchipped, register the microchip, plan to scan for microchips and look up the information available from each microchip.

Microchips help reunite community cats with their caregivers and outdoor families. They also help companion cats to come home. Companion cats who have microchips are over 20 times more likely than those without them to be reunited with their owners.

Benefits of Scanning
While saving the lives of cats is the most important benefit, scanning has other positive outcomes, as well. By scanning and identifying a cat, her time in a shelter is decreased, which lowers the cat’s stress, saves money for the shelter and makes room for other animals in need.

Cats who are scanned in the field may not even need to be impounded in the first place, allowing animal control officers to focus on other priorities.

Microchip Recommendations
Alley Cat Allies offers these recommendations to get the best use from microchips:

When a microchip is found, Alley Cat Allies recommends finding the registry the microchip is registered to by visiting the American Animal Hospital Association’s Universal Pet Microchip Lookup ( The microchip code can then be entered to find contact information for the caregiver or owner, or the registry can be called directly.

Visit for more information, including a guide on how to scan for a microchip and a fact sheet explaining how microchipping saves lives.

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