2008-08-13 / Columnists
Pets, Pets, Pets
The Mayor's Alliance Low-Cost Microchip Clinic is a pet dream- come- true. Mark your calendar; then cut this out, and hang it on your refrigerator as a reminder. Thanks to the Mayor's Alliance, on Sat., Sept. 13, Long Island pet owners will have a wonderful opportunity to implant both their dogs and cats with HOME AGAIN microchips for $25 each (registration included). The clinic will be held in conjunction with the Last Hope Dog Walk in Wantagh Park, One King Rd., just west of the entrance to Wantagh Parkway, south of Merrick Road.
Depending on where you go, chipping procedures typically cost from $80 to $100. As community outreach, the Mayor's Alliance is offering tremendous savings so more owners can afford the tiny transponder, the size of a grain of rice, that helps reunite lost pets with their families. Pets participating
at our Wantagh Park clinic need not be signed up for the Last Hope Dog Walk. All leashed dogs and cats in carriers are welcome to come get a microchip. Dogs and owners can register for the Last Hope Walk, contests, and barbecue too or go home; cats will be happy to vamoose.
Microchips are definitive proof of ownership. Lost pets can't say where they live, but microchips can speak for them. Scanned ID numbers become their passport home. Recently Babylon Town Shelter had 2 amazing recoveries: "Blaze" a Jack Russell found in N. Amityville had a microchip that traced to Atlanta. He had been lost for 6 months. We flew Blaze home. A stray Westie's chip traced to the original owner who lost him two years ago. Meanwhile "Bugsy" a missing New York City dog just turned up about a year later in a Rhode Island shelter. His true identity surfaced because of his implanted transponder. Last year Giant Schnauzer Rescue sounded a national alert after a rescue dog was lost on a Virginia highway when the new owner had a bad car accident. A lady trucker had been seen picking up the dog, but refused to return her. A multi-state police and flyer blitz ensued, staking out the trucker's Texas home, and finally reclaiming the chipped dog from the trucker at a Florida convenience store. From 1:30 to 5:30 on September 13, the Mayor's Alliance will have a secure tent near the Last Hope Dog Walk. Veterinary personnel will implant the chips, similar to giving a quick injection between the shoulders. Most pets don't even realize this has been done. A veterinarian will be present at Wantagh Park too. Three weeks ago, another visiting vet chipped the seven traumatized Afghans flown to Long Island from the huge New Mexico hoarder seizure. We doubt if any of our Hounds had ever seen a doctor before, yet microchipping didn't even faze them.
Some techs use baby food on a dog biscuit or an ice cube as a distracter. If extra security seems necessary, nervous cats can be done inside of the van. The Mayor's Alliance, the fantastic cooperative of nearly 100 NYC shelters and humane groups, has had lots of experience with microchip clinics throughout the 5 boroughs.
Microchips are not GPS devices. They are hidden under the skin, and reveal a unique number when scanned. All shelters and veterinarians are supposed to scan found dogs and cats upon intake. I repeat- "and cats". People are less apt to associate a microchip with a cat, but responsible owners (like you) chip indoor cats, as extra protection, if heaven forbid, the cat ever gets out. When the pet has a chip, a number pops up; if not, the scanner says "No ID found." The microchip companies have 800 numbers and 24/7 service to aid pet recovery. Newer scanners pick up all frequency chips including the European ones. HOME AGAIN provides a bright yellow tag for pets to wear on their collars that notes they are chipped, but collars can come off. Microchips, like diamonds, are forever. As a precaution, write your dogs' microchip numbers on their NYS license renewals every year. I am so grateful for the dedicated efforts of Janell Granier. We can blame a homeless Bull Mastiff for the pairing of these two events. Janell Granier, director of programs for the Mayor's Alliance, is a compassionate American Bull Mastiff Rescue volunteer. Recently while making arrangements to take a Bull Mastiff from a Long Island town shelter, Janell mentioned a microchip clinic to be held the next day. I asked if she'd consider holding one on Long Island, and she said to give her a place and a date. Can't tell you how thrilled I was. We are hoping linking the microchip clinic with Last Hope's 8th Annual Dog Walk and Family Fun Night, another pet festivity already scheduled, will bring lots of participants. Bring Fido and/or Fluffy to the Mayor's Alliance Microchip Clinic on Sat. September 13 at Wantagh Park. No reservation is necessary. Later on let Fido join in at the Last Hope Dog Walk, if he feels like having fun, but drive Fluffy safely back home. She'd rather "walk" there vicariously. For more details about the microchip clinic, call 631-661-6164.
For Adoption: All the foster dogs at the Last Hope Dog Center (www.lasthopeanimalrescue.org.) at 642 Rt. 109, adjoining Basic Pet Care in Lindenhurst were taken from town shelters. Two are featured here this week. "Mia," a tan Pit mix, was formerly a stray at Babylon Town Shelter who raised a litter of nine puppies. This photo was taken months ago, right after she weaned the pups. Now trim and spayed, Mia loves to roll around in the sand and splash in the water whenever a volunteer takes her to the beach. "Jessie" an eight-year-old purebred German Shorthaired Pointer found herself surrendered to the Huntington Shelter when her owner could "no longer care for her, no further explanation was given. This sweet gal responds to hand signal commands. To see the Last Hope dogs, call 631-957-0023.