It's a pet lovers worst nightmare--their beloved furry friend running away or even worse, being stolen. For Buffalo resident Michael Hamilton, it's been decades since that happened, but the experience stuck with him.
"When I was a little kid, my dog was stolen and we never got him back, so when I got Peeva, my dog now, I registered her and microchipped right away," Michael Hamilton, co-founder of the company Peeva shared.
Shortly after Peeva was microchipped, she was stung by a bee, but the veterinarian who treated her never scanned her chip.
"The problem is that there is no true universal scanner that can read the full range of microchips encountered by vets and shelters when they receive missing pets," Hamilton added.
That's why Hamilton started his company, Peeva, two years ago named after his beloved Puggle. He's now working with engineers at the University at Buffalo to create a universal scanner he hopes all vets will be able to use regardless of microchip brand.
"Pets don't have fingertips, so a microchip is basically a fingerprint for a pet."
According to the American Humane Society, 1 in 3 pets will get lost in their lifetime. Veterinarian Jennifer Garofalo with the Ellicott Small Animal Hospital says there are few drawback to getting your pet chipped.
"We did have one other case where a dog was found and he had eight years before that he had been separated from his owner for about eight years," Dr. Garofalo said.
It generally costs about $25-$40 to chip your pet. The American Veterinary Medical Association says it's money well spent. About 52% of microchipped dogs that are lost or stolen are returned to their owners.