Animal services in Columbia Co. could start microchipping pets soon

By: Katie Beasley Email
By: Katie Beasley Email

News 12 First at Five / Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2012

GROVETOWN, Ga. -- Hilary Johnson loves playing with her dog, Roxie.

"As soon as we got her, we knew we wanted to microchip her. It just seems like a no-brainer to me," Johnson said.

She's heard too many stories of pets not finding their way back home.

"We've had several friends that have lost their dog and weren't able to find them," Johnson said.

But now Columbia County Animal Services is close to helping with that problem. Commissioners are expected to approve microchipping pets, if the owner wants.

"The information associated with the microchip would be entered into a database for animal control professionals or vet offices to relocate owners, should the animal become lost," explained Columbia County Animal Services Field Operations Supervisor Daniel Mayne.

Pets wandering off is a problem they see all the time.

"It happens throughout the day; we get multiple calls daily for animals running loose or complaints about animals running loose," Mayne said.

A microchip the size of a grain of rice is inserted into the scruff of the animal's neck.

"Once the animal is entered into the database, it stays there forever," Mayne said.

Your pet, pets up for adoption or pets found and returned to owners are all eligible.

"Before the officer brings the animal back up here to the shelter, they scan the animal with the microchip scanner out in the field to see if there's an owner before it even goes on the truck," Mayne said.

It saves the owner fees and saves the shelter money.

"We have to pay for food we have to pay for cat litter, the animal care technicians' care throughout the day. We have four full-time kennel technicians who care for the animals. These are all things that can be offset by the owner spending $15 to have the animal microchipped," Mayne said.

And Johnson encourages it.

"It's only $15; it just makes sense."

The $15 fee includes registration for the database. The county is expected to start holding clinics for the service around mid-September.

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