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A good identification system can prevent the tragic destruction of a canine companion. In the past, tattoos and dog tags were commonly used to identify pets or provide contact information; drawbacks of these included the potential loss or removal of the tags, or lack of recognition of tattoos because of illegibility or distortion from overlying hair growth. Additionally, information on tags may not be up to date. Microchips are about the size of a grain of rice. They are placed within a strong, biologically safe glass that protects the encased chip but causes minimal reaction in the animal. A sterile injection system, similar to a hypodermic syringe and needle used for vaccinations, is used to insert the chip just under the skin in the scruff of the neck in dogs and cats.Story | Conversation | November 22, 2004