Columbia County Animal Services soon will offer pet owners another way to keep their animals safe.
Animal Services Manager Linda Glasscock said after expected final approval, they plan to begin microchipping animals at the Grovetown facility.
“I would love every pet owner to do this,” Glasscock said.
The Animal Services staff will offer microchipping by mid-September for animals adopted from the William Few Parkway shelter and to county pet owners.
A tiny transponder, the size of a grain of rice, is inserted under the skin. That transponder corresponds to an electronic database that keeps track of the pet’s vital information, including the owner’s name, address and contact information.
“It’s not for us to make any money,” Glasscock said. “It’s for (pet owners) to protect their animal. If it comes in to us, we can return it safely to its home.”
Animal Services officers use portable scanners to detect microchips in stray animals, reading registration information with hopes of returning animals directly to owners without transportation to the shelter.
“We either take it home or call (the owner),” Glasscock said. “We get in touch with the owner immediately. ... It saves everybody (money) and it saves the taxpayers (money).”
Unclaimed animals without microchips are held for eight days before being put up for adoption.
Microchipping isn’t mandatory, Glasscock said, but she recommends it for all pet owners. Animal shelters and rescue groups nationwide use the service, and the information easily can be updated online
The $15 fee includes inserting the transponder and registration to the database.
County commissioners are expected to approve the resolution allowing microchipping after a second reading on Aug. 21. The first reading was held at Tuesday’s meeting.
Glasscock said she expects to begin microchipping adopted animals by Sept. 15. Soon after, the service will be offered at clinics such as the rabies clinics the agency offers.
For more information, call Animal Services at (706) 541-4077 or visit www.columbiacountyga.gov and follow the links to Animal Services.