Thanks to a Bucks Lake area resident and a cat identification microchip, Iris the cat has been reunited with her Berry Creek owners.
When Patti Decoe happened to notice a cat hanging around her rural home, she started trying to get to know it.
When at last Decoe could touch the animal, she captured it and brought it to the Plumas County Animal Shelter in Quincy.
“I wonder if it’s microchipped,” animal controller officer Melissa Bishop asked when she received the longhaired animal.
“I didn’t know you could chip your cats,” Bishop remembered Alex Saez saying at the time. Saez is also an animal control officer.
Bishop said she scanned the cat for a microchip and sure enough, its identification number and an online search showed her address to be the Berry Creek area. Iris the cat’s owner is Autumn Lansdale.
Apparently the cat escaped as fires spread through that area this summer, Bishop explained.
Microchips are a tiny device containing an identification number implanted in between the shoulder blades and have been around for approximately 30 years.
The electronic device is no larger than a grain of rice and is inserted underneath the pet’s skin with a syringe. Veterinaries typically state that the process is no more disturbing to the pet than a routine vaccination.
Just like animal control officer Saez, many people might associate the practice with dogs and not consider it for cats.
Veterinarians can implant a device in a pet, or there are home kits pet owners can purchase. There are also scan kits that can be purchased.
Animal shelters and veterinarians typically have scanners for locating the microchip and reading the ID. The chip not only contains the identification number it has a transponder and is made up of a capacitor, antenna and wire. It emits radio waves that transmit that information to the scanner.
The chip is not a tracking device. When scanned, a veterinarian or animal control officer can contact the pet-recovery service affiliated with the chip. The service then accesses the contact information registered online.
Cats and dogs are not the only pets microchipped. Birds, horses and reptiles are also among those that have joined the lists.