Columbia County Animal Services is offering a way to keep pets safe.
The department’s first animal microchipping clinic will be held 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at the facility at 1940 William Few Parkway near Grovetown.
“It’s gentle,” Animal Services Manager Linda Glasscock said. “It’s put into the back of the neck right under the skin. It takes about two seconds.”
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 a pet’s vital information, including the owner’s name and up to six phone numbers.
“Their collars and tags can get ripped off,” Glasscock said. “People can take them off. They are not as secure items to use for identification for your animals as the microchip is.”
Animal Services officers scan stray dogs in the field and if they have a microchip, the animal can be returned home quickly. A couple of weeks ago, a Lincolnton, Ga., woman was reunited with her dog because it was microchipped.
“She’d been missing that dog for three months,” Glasscock said. “That’s what a microchip will do. Three months down the road and that lady got her dog back.”
“We love it when that happens,” Glasscock said, adding that immediate return of the animal reduces the number of animals to be housed at the facility.
All animals brought into the facility are scanned for microchips.
Anyone adopting an animal has the option to have it microchipped before leaving the facility for $15. Glasscock said anyone wanting to get a microchip can visit the facility during business hours.
“We do about 90 a week,” Glasscock said.
The clinic, she said, is more convenient for residents who cannot reach the facility during the week. Glasscock said the department will hold microchipping clinics two to four times a year.
The microchip costs $15 per animal and that includes lifetime registration in a database that can be accessed by animal shelters and veterinarians.
The registration form and a list of adoptable animals can be found on the county’s Web site at www.columbiacountyga.gov. Follow the links to Animal Services.