Two nights ago, a resident of Montgomery County lost their family pet. One of the family members left the gate open and the pet escaped. The call for help went out at around 1800 (6PM). I wasn't able to respond until 2000 (8PM). The sun had already set. It was raining and wet. The dog had no collar on.
This dog is small - short hair chihuahua. The field behind the owners home is know hunting grounds for fox and large birds of prey.
We pulled out the maps, checked the time, and set up our search area. Before we could get our feet wet, phone calls and emails came in that the dog had been found!!
The dog had been tagged with a micro chip well before he disappeared. When the dog escaped, he wandered around the neighborhood for a while and was found by another neighbor. The neighbor posted the find on her Facebook page. Then, they took the lost dog to PetSmart in the Milestone shopping center. PetSmart has a micro chip reading device. They read the micro chip, discovered who the owner was and contacted the owner. End Result: the dog was missing for a few hours. He returned home safely. Several neighbors got to know one another a little better. A happy ending.
This story drove home the benefits of micro chips for me. I'd not heard of this before two nights ago, but the benefit was real, very quick, and kept my feet dry that night!
Here's some information about microchips for pets: