The Massachusetts Veterinary Medical Association (MVMA) is leading a statewide effort to increase pet safety through a special program that encourages pet owners to microchip and register their pets. On September 25, veterinarians throughout Massachusetts will offer the service at a special rate of $20 per pet that includes both the microchip and registration. To participate, pet owners must sign up by September 13 online at www.massvet.org by selecting "Pet Owners" and clicking on the "Click here" section or by calling 508-460-9333. Pet owners will be able to select the veterinary clinic where they want to have their pets' microchips implanted and schedule the appointment.Microchipping helps ensure a pet can always be identified and returned to its owner should it become lost. Microchipping is a permanent form of identification; each microchip has a unique identification number. Registering the microchip number with owner contact information in a national pet recovery database such as HomeAgain is a critical step in identifying and contacting a pet's owner when a lost pet is found and scanned for a microchip. "On behalf of our partners in this effort, all of whom are dedicated to pet health and safety, I urge all pet owners to take this important step to protect their beloved companion animals," said Sue Curtis, executive director, MVMA. "While all pets should wear a collar with ID tags, they should also be protected with a microchip ID that cannot fall off or become impossible to read." Research published by the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association shows that nearly three out of every four lost pets that are microchipped are reunited with their owners. The State of Massachusetts Animal Response Team, Animal Control Officers Association of Massachusetts, Medical Reserve Corp and the Animal Rescue League of Boston have joined with MVMA to support this event. The microchips are being donated by HomeAgain Pet Recovery, part of Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health. Each month, HomeAgain reunites over 10,000 lost pets with their families.