The Today show this morning interviewed a family from Brooklyn, New York that had lost their dog and it ended up 850 miles away in Georgia. Their dog was returned to them because he had a microchip imbedded in him that the shelter was able to scan and get basic information from such as his name and where the family lived. The only reason they were reunited with their dog was because of that micro chip.
I am a big advocate of microchipping our pets. If you aren’t familiar, these microchips are about the size of a grain of rice and are inserted using a large needle into the area between the shoulder blades of the animal. The microchip can then be scanned (similar to at the grocery store) and contact information (via a form the owner and vet clinic fills out) is linked to that particular chip with the maker of the chip. Most shelters and vet offices have these scanners. I think you can get a chip inserted and registered for around $50 here in Michigan.
All of my dogs have either a Home Again ™ or Avid ™ brand microchip. Some people think this in invasive and prefer to just keep collars and tags on their animals. I like to do both because collars can come off. My dogs do wear collars and the tag on the collar has my phone number, my vet clinic phone number and the word microchipped. That way, when the dog is found the collar tells them right then and there that they are indeed microchipped. I also think (hope) that microchipping will deter someone from trying to steal your dog.