Pethealth Inc.
TSX : PTZ

Pethealth Inc.

December 02, 2010 14:17 ET

4 Million Cats and Dogs Now Registered With the 24PetWatch Lost Pet Recovery Service

Identification and Registration, Key to Lost Pet Reunification With Owner

OAKVILLE, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 2, 2010) - Pethealth Inc. (TSX:PTZ) — When it comes to happy endings for lost pets, microchipped cats like Newton have a substantial advantage. The curious feline escaped from his home in Hamilton, Ontario, one night and was reunited with his owner thanks to his family registering with the 24PetWatch Lost Pet Recovery Service. 

Newton is one of over 4 million pets now registered in the 24PetWatch Lost Pet Recovery database; since its launch in 2003, 24PetWatch has helped reunite tens of thousands of pets with their owners.

"Newton came with a microchip from the shelter where I adopted him," says Erica Stevens, Newton's owner. "We updated his information with 24PetWatch as soon as we found out he was microchipped. When he went missing, we updated it again because our address had changed. That was two days before they found him."

Newton was picked up by local shelter workers nearly six weeks after he went missing. When they scanned him for a microchip and found it was registered to 24PetWatch, they gave them a call and a member of the Lost Pet Recovery Team called Stevens.

"I would have been devastated if he hadn't been found. Losing a pet is absolutely heartbreaking," says Stevens, speaking from experience. Her previous cat of ten years went missing without a microchip in 2007 and was never found. "Newton lives indoors but he's still a cat. He's still curious. He slipped out without anyone noticing and if it hadn't been for 24PetWatch, we might not have found him."

Microchips are glass-encased transponders carrying unique numbers that can be read at a particular frequency. The vast majority of animal welfare organizations, veterinary clinics and animal control agencies in the United States and Canada have microchip scanners on-site, and in their vehicles, allowing them to check for the presence of a microchip when lost pets are picked up and brought into their facilities.

"Cats are profoundly underrepresented when it comes to identification," says Dr. Michael Moyer, Rosenthal Director of Shelter Animal Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine and President-Elect of the American Animal Hospital Association. "Overall, less than 2% of cats are returned to owners in North America; overwhelmingly, those not recovered by their families have no collars, no microchip. It is a common misconception that cats are less likely than dogs to be lost, particularly in the case of indoor only cats, but they, too, go missing. Every cat should be identified, regardless of its proposed lifestyle."

In a 2009 study, published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA), Dr Linda Lord of the Ohio State University presented a strong case for microchipping as a valuable means of permanent pet identification, and highlighted the importance of database registration. Of 1,934 animals with microchips used in the study, only 58.1% were registered, leading to some pets with microchips left in shelters because they could not be reunited with their families.

"There are four important components to ensure lost pets are reunited with their owners: a microchip; a visible collar tag, preferably one on which the pet's microchip number is engraved; a widespread network of scanners; and accurate and complete contact information in a lost pet recovery database," says Susan Arts, Vice President of Marketing, Pethealth Inc.

The same study revealed that the 24PetWatch database was 50% more accurate than any of its competitors with nearly 80% of pet owner registration tied to an individual microchip number, versus 53.2% and 50.7% for its two leading competitors. The 24PetWatch program offers free registration for cats and dogs, helping to ensure that pet owner contact information is linked to the pet's microchip number immediately after implantation. To further assist in database registration and accuracy, veterinary clinics and animal welfare organizations can enroll microchipped pet and pet owner information with 24PetWatch online using one of the Company's leading SaaS-based software applications.

As for Newton, despite losing 14 pounds and sustaining injuries from a scuffle with another animal, today he is safe, healthy, and happy to be home.

*Lord, Linda K., DVM, PhD, et al. "Characterization of animals with microchips entering animal shelters," Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Vol 235, No. 2, July 15, 2009.

About 24Petwatch Microchip ID

24PetWatch has been dedicated to your pet's safety since 2003. With a comprehensive line of exclusive products and services designed to enhance and protect your pet's life, 24PetWatch gives you and your pet access to health, happiness and peace of mind. If you have found a lost pet with a collar tag, call us at 1-866-597-2424 immediately. We'll also report the pet as found as well as contacting the owner so they can be reunited with their pet. If there is no collar tag or if it is unreadable or scratched, take the pet to your nearest animal shelter, vet or rescue group so the pet can be scanned for a microchip. For more information about 24PetWatch Microchip ID and 24PetWatch Insurance programs, visit www.24petwatch.com.

About Pethealth Inc.

Pethealth is a leading provider of companion animal services in North America. In addition, the Company is the leading provider of management software to North American animal welfare organizations through its SaaS-based application and is the leading provider of pet related database management services to the North American companion animal industry. Pethealth offers a unique range of products and services for veterinarians, shelters and pet owners through a number of wholly owned subsidiaries using a range of brand names including PetCare, 24PetWatch, Pet Protect, Petpals DirectShelterCare, PetPoint, Petango.com and ThePetangoStore.com.

Pethealth is based in Oakville, Ontario. To find out more about Pethealth, visit the web site at www.pethealthinc.com.

Contact Information

  • Pethealth Inc.
    Susan Arts
    Vice President of Marketing
    (905) 842 2615