Travis Allen’s reunion with his dog, Chipper, came a month after he went missing. Allen was visiting his brother in Warner Robins in December when he decided to take Chipper on a walk. Chipper escaped off of his leash and Allen had to leave to go back to North Carolina without finding his dog.

Sheila Kemp, owner of Endless Love Pet Palace, heard Allen’s story and knew she had to help. She organized a search group, paid for posters, and posted on Facebook to try to find Chipper.

The young girl who found Chipper didn’t know that the dog had a microchip. She had Chipper for two weeks before Kemp was able to find her. Kemp says the girl didn’t want to take the dog to the vet because she feared she would have to pay to have the dog checked.

Veterinarian Vernard Hodges says your veterinarian’s office and animal shelters should all have microchip sensors and it’s completely free to check for the chips.

“The microchip is really small. As you can see, it’s the size of a grain of rice. If a pet is lost, we all have scanners. What we do is take this simple little scanner, we wave this scanner over the dog, and it takes 30 seconds. We can find out exactly if a dog is microchipped or not,” said Hodges.

These microchips can be inserted into a dog’s upper back at a veterinarian’s office. Hodges says it costs about $60 for the implantation. If a dog is lost, a microchip sensor can identify the ID number on the microchip.

“A lot of people don’t know about chips and a lot of them don’t know it’s free,” said Kemp.

Kemp says she has 4 dogs of her own and each of them has a microchip. She said if one of her dogs were to get lost, she’d want the person who found them to go to their veterinarian so she doesn’t have to worry for long.