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With the summer holidays just around the corner, White Oak Animal Safe Haven Director Laura Massie knew she had to go the extra mile to help local animals.
Thursday marked the shelter’s first microchip clinic, with nine animals being microchipped.
“We decided to do this because a lot of shelters are full this time of year. Especially with (July 4) coming up – fireworks tend to spook the animals and they run away. So I came up with the idea that people could bring their pets in to be microchipped at a discounted price,” Massie said.
Veterinary technician Emilie St. Landau has worked with the White Oak Animal Safe Haven for a year and a half, and she explained the process of microchipping.
“The chip is inserted between the animal’s shoulder blades. It has a bar code which can be scanned at any animal shelter, animal hospital or police station,” St. Landau said. “People can then access the owner’s contact information and reunite the pet with their owner.”
A desire to keep pets safe was the number one reason owners gave for bringing their pets to the clinic. Richard Mattis of North Versailles Twp. cited flight risk as the reason for bringing in his 1-year-old boxer, Phoebe.
Mattis said, “My daughter saw it on Facebook and told me about it. I wanted to do it in case she ever got out — she runs like crazy.”
North Versailles resident Tony Krisher concurred, citing safety concerns as the reason for microchipping 4-month-old German shepherd mix Ruger.
No pet owner wants to imagine their animal getting lost. But St. Landau says it’s more common than people think.
“Most lost animals are indoor pets. Without a microchip, it’s almost impossible to link them to their owners. Microchips for larger animals have a GPS in them, but those aren’t available for domestic pets yet.”
St. Landau also added that animals who are not microchipped are kept for a couple of days before being made available for adoption if no owner comes forward.
“No chip, no trace,” St. Landau said.
And what of those owners uncertain whether or not to microchip their pets?
“Call us,” Massie said. “Talk to your vet, or to our vets. It doesn’t hurt the animal at all. I would recommend that anyone who loves their animals get them microchipped.”
To learn more, call (412) 672-8901 or visit the center’s website.
Sarah Turnbull is a freelance writer in Irwin. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Originally published July 02, 2021.