One of the things we do in preparation for fire season is microchipping all of our horses. While microchips are excellent for helping to identify horses who have been stolen, horses who are at an auction, they are also helpful in declaring ownership, especially during a natural disaster.
Microchipping for safety
We saw during Katrina that one of the issues that came up time and again were people who were looking for their horses, but even with a picture, the fact is that many horses look the same, and the people in charge may not be able to determine the small nuances that differentiate horses. While we may all think that we could identify our horses out of a crowd, it would be difficult to prove that that particular sorrel mare with a white blaze just happens to be YOUR sorrel mare with a white blaze.
How do you prove that particular bay gelding in that pen of 15 bay geldings is yours? While pictures are definitely important in helping to identify your horse, a microchip ensures with 100% certainty that that horse is yours.
Several of our horses have come in since our last microchip clinic, so we decided it was important to hold another one and make sure every horse in our care can be identified.
Our vet gave each horse a small localized anesthesia- the microchip is very small, but the needle is somewhat large, and this ensures that the procedure is pain free for the horses. We had a few horses who already were chipped, but we discovered that Raven already had a chip, so we just have to contact the microchip company and let them know that she is owned by Hanaeleh, and we can add our name to the list of contacts. Our awesome vet, Dr. Hunter from OC Equine Veterinary Services, also made sure to include a list of all of the chip numbers in the horses’ vet records.
Hanaeleh does not take our name off of the microchips for any of the horses who we adopt out, as we want to ensure that we are contacted in case a horse is somehow sent to auction or has been lost or stolen. We encourage new owners to add their names to the contact list, and they can also add their own microchip on their own if they wish.
All of the horses were very good for the microchips… except LadyBug, who was fairly certain that the vet was an evil demon come to steal her soul.
We decided that we would wait until LadyBug needs to be vaccinated to microchip her- we can give her a mild oral sedative beforehand that will help to relax her and make the procedure safe for her and for the vet. The rest of the horses were very good and otherwise the day went very smoothly.
Having all of the horses microchipped gives us peace of mind that the horses will be identified in case of an evacuation, and we all can sleep better knowing they are safe.