Submitted by Karen Scalia on behalf of the Mass Animal Coalition
In an effort to help bring lost pets home, Hopkinton Drug (Hopkinton, MA) and the Massachusetts Animal Coalition (MAC) donated a microchip scanner to Animal Control Officer (ACO) Jennifer Condon.
“This will definitely help us to do the important work we do” said ACO Condon,
who is an Animal Control Officer, with Boardman Animal Control Services, who with her peer officers are responsible for the towns of Concord, Hudson, Lincoln, Maynard, Northborough, Southborough and Wayland.
About the size of a grain of rice, microchips have been implanted in animals for years and offer a permanent unique registration number that cannot be altered or removed. Since Oct. 31, ACOs in Massachusetts are required to scan stray animals for a microchip as part of a new law updating animal control statutes.
“We think this is a perfect opportunity to highlight the importance of microchipping," said Anne Lindsay, founder of MAC, "and to play a role in helping to get this technology to our ACOs. From experience, we have learned that microchipping offers a more reliable, quicker and more efficient way of helping to reunite more pets with their families.”
HomeAgain is one of several companies offering microchips and scanners. Owners register their pets on a central database and, if the animal is lost, a veterinarian, shelter or animal control department representative can scan the animal. Once the chip is detected, the ACO can contact the microchip company and obtain the owner’s information. The donated scanners are able to read chips manufactured by other companies, in addition to its own.
The scanner donation is due, in part, to a grant to MAC from the “Hopkinton Drug Fund for Massachusetts Animal Shelters” program: for every veterinary prescription filled at Hopkinton Drug, money is set aside and disbursed to benefit local animal shelters and rescues. This generous grant provides valuable services to animals in need. The other portion of the scanner donation is made possible by the MAC disaster fund. “We think that disaster preparedness is important. If we have a disaster, such as last year’s Western Mass. tornado or are hit harder by a Hurricane like Sandy, microchip technology can be key to reuniting pets with owners” noted Lindsay.
MAC and Hopkinton Drug plan to donate dozens of scanners to Massachusetts ACOs.