It wasn't meant to happen, but somehow your puppy got loose and is too young to know its way home. Or your older dog wanders away and aging senses are inadequate for remembering his or her address. Or your indoor/outdoor cat fails to return at the usual hour.
After searching without success, you reluctantly phone the local animal shelter, hoping that your pet has been recovered before it is considered a stray and faces the potential of being put down.
These types of scenarios may be prevented by having a Vista Veterinary Hospital veterinarian surgically implant a microchip under the animal's skin. The procedure is as painless as a vaccination and quickly identifies your pet as owned. The chip contains pertinent information that can be read by a special scanner, reuniting the two of you before a mistaken euthanasia has occurred.