VCA Herndon-Reston Animal Hospital
By Tarisa Walker
Published: March 31, 2011

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Spring is upon us!  It's time for playing outside and fun in the sun.  Whether it's camping or hiking, going to the beach or going for a drive, your beloved pet will be sure to accompany you on these outdoor adventures.  But what would you do if your pet got lost?

It's easier to lose your pet than you might think.  If you leave your companion pet with your children unattended, if you leave your pet off leash outside, if your pet is unleashed or uncrated in your car - these are all opportunities for your pet to run off into the unknown.  HomeAgain offers you peace of mind through a simple procedure known as microchipping.

What is microchipping?  The process is similar to a routine shot and takes only a few seconds.  A veterinarian simply injects a microchip for dogs and cats, about the size of a grain of rice, beneath the surface the skin between the shoulder blades.  There is no anesthesia or sedation required, and your pet will not react any more than he would to a vaccination.  The only thing you as the owner will have to do is register your pet online through the HomeAgain registry and upload your contact information to ensure your connection to your companion animal.

Once implanted, the HomeAgain microchip is permanent pet ID.  Since the microchip itself has no internal energy source, it will last the life of your pet with no adverse side effects.  The microchip number is read by passing a microchip scanner over the pet's shoulder blades.  Once the identification number is scanned, the number can be looked up through the HomeAgain registry to gain access to your personal information so that you and your pet can be reunited.

Beside having the advantage of being able to be reunited with your pet if lost, HomeAgain also offers an Active Recovery Program with many wonderful features.  These features include:

- National Recovery Database: HomeAgain microchips are designed with a link to a permanent listing in our national lost pet database.  This means anytime/anywhere pet recovery service simply by scanning the microchip number and searching the registry.

- Lost Pet Specialists: The HomeAgain Call Center is staffed with Lost Pet Specialists to help pet owners deal with losing a pet.  These specialists are available 24/7 to send out Lost Pet Alerts and guide you through the emotional process of recovering your lost pet.
- Rapid Lost Pet Alerts: When your pet is reported missing, the HomeAgain Lost Pet Network is on the lookout for your companion.  Lost Pet Alerts are sent to members of our Pet Recovery Network within a 25-mile radius from where your pet went missing.

- 24/7 Emergency Medical Hotline: HomeAgain offers 24 hour pet emergency services in the event you cannot reach your veterinarian after office hours.

- Travel Assistance for Lost Pets: HomeAgain will cover up to $500 to fly your found dog or cat home if discovered further than 500 miles away from your home.

- Lost Pet Medical Insurance: HomeAgain will cover up to $3,000 for medical bills for injuries sustained when your cat or dog is lost.  Simply enroll with PetFirst after registering your pet with HomeAgain.

With all these wonderful services, it's hard to imagine why your wouldn't microchip your pet.  Having a permanent connection to your companion will give you the freedom to enjoy your adventures together to the fullest.  So call your veterinarian today and ask about microchipping!


Specialty Care

Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

As part of the VCA family, we have over 83 specialty hospitals across the US and Canada which provide referral specialty care, so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: behavior, cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, integrative medicine, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology, rehabilitation, reproduction, and surgery.

Find a VCA Specialty Care Animal Hospital near you:


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Emergency Care

In case of emergency during normal business hours, please call us immediately. If you have an emergency outside of our normal business hours, please contact a local emergency animal hospital.