25,000 animals end up at Lubbock Animal Services each year. Animal Services Manager Fred Sanderson says, "Nine of out ten animals get lost in their lifetime. Only one to three is ever returned home." Sanderson wants to make sure your pet is returned should it get loose. The first step is an identification tag that should be worn around your pet's neck. But now, there's also an electronic form of identification about the size of a grain of rice. It's called Microchip Identification.
Sanderson says, "We put it in with a sterile syringe. Inside the syringe is a unique i-d. It's inserted in between the shoulder blades of companion animals In two or three days, it fuses itself into the muscle tissue so it won't move."
The whole process takes just a few minutes. A scanner is used to match the microchip number with the registered owner.
Dog Owner Jay Morrow says, "He doesn't run and he doesn't wander off but there is always a chance he can get out when I'm not there to catch him and I would want him identified. He's my baby and I want him back." That's why Morrow is taking advantage of the city's microchip program.
The Lubbock Area Foundation gave Lubbock Animal Services a grant to insert 1,000 microchips for free. To participate the pet must have proof of rabies vaccination and the owner must live in Lubbock. There's a $5 fee associated with that and a small fee to enter a national registry so your pet can be returned from anywhere in the world. The city will microchip dogs or cats until the grant is full filled. Sanderson says, "It's a very small percentage of the quarter of a million companion animals in Lubbock but we encourage people to go to the veterinarian clinic and get the rest."
Per the new animal ordinance, any pet that leaves Lubbock Animal Services must be microchipped. To schedule a microchip appointment, call (806) 775-2056.