Shelter to microchip adopted animals

Published 9:47 am Wednesday, March 4, 2015

NW0304 Shelter Microchipping

Once you find that new “fur-ever” friend, you never want to let them go.

The Elizabethton/Carter County Animal Shelter now purchased new equipment that could keep those pets with their owners. Starting today, the shelter will include microchipping with all adopted pets and also will offer the service to the community.

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The shelter bought the microchipping system using donated funds, shelter Director April Jones said. Microchipping injects a small microchip under the skin of the pet, providing a permanent form of identification. The chip contains the owner’s information, which is read using a microchip reader.

“We wanted to be able to increase our returned to owner rate,” Jones said. “We were the only area shelter not offering microchipping. This will help if the pet gets away from home. It will be more likely that it will be reunited with its family.”

The shelter received the microchipping system Tuesday afternoon. The first pet to be “chipped” was Office Cat, the shelter’s mascot that stays in the office.

“She’s officially ours now,” Jones laughed. “It is a very simple procedure using a needle. The chip is inserted subcutaneously on the shoulder.”

Shelter staff will register the pet’s information when it is adopted, Jones said. After that it will be up to the owner to update any address or phone number changes with the microchipping company.

“The mircochip offers permanent identification,” Jones said. “Pets can lose their collars and their tags. If needed, the chip can also provide proof of ownership.”

Prior to offering the service, the ECCAS had a microchip reader to scan pets when they arrived and sometimes received lost pets that were microchipped.

In 2014, eight microchipped cats and 10 dogs came through the shelter. Of these, nine were adopted and nine were reclaimed by their owners.

To help pay for the service, the shelter will increase the its adoption fees to $20 for spayed and neutered animals, and $55 for unaltered pets. The service is $10 for pets not adopted at the shelter, Jones said.

Microchipping will be mandatory for all unchipped pets adopted from the shelter, she said. If a pet is already microchipped, the adoption fee will be lowered.