Identify Your Pet Day helps put chips in pets

Posted at 8:17 PM, Apr 18, 2014

SALT LAKE CITY -- It’s the first ever "Identify Your Pet Day" in Utah, and in the video above FOX 13 New's Kiersten Nuñez takes us through the process of getter her dog Gatsby set up with an ID chip.

Pauline Edwards, Clinic Director Human Society of Utah, said the chips help people keep tabs on beloved animals.

"Pets are part of the family, and if your family member gets lost you want them back home with you,” Edwards said.

Humane society officials said every two seconds a family pet is lost, and to make sure your loyal friend stays safe, it's vital to have them tagged or chipped.

Microchips are like a vaccination against being lost for your furry friends. In just seconds, a simple chip can be implanted under your pet’s skin.

"It’s a little chip about the size of a grain of rice, and it has a nine digit coded into it, and that number traces back to you and your telephone number to a database and you're contacted and you get your pet back," Edwards said.

With a little prick, animals can have permanent identification. And that’s what Identify My Pet Day works to do. The goal is to have fewer animals in the shelter and more in homes.

Melanie Paxman is a veterinarian technician at a Human Society of Utah Clinic, and she explained the process.

"It’s just like a vaccine needle, a tiny bit bigger and quick and easy,” Paxman said. “Most of them don’t notice it. No matter how small they are, how big they are, how old they are: It’s good to do it no matter what.”

In honor of ID Your Pet Day, the Humane Society of Utah offered discounted microchips at their clinic. But if you couldn’t make it in today, you don’t need to schedule an appointment. The cost is $25.

“We get calls here every week at the humane society of people that have found a pet and it’s micro-chipped we can call the owner,” Paxman said. “There are amazing stories, sometimes they’re gone for a couple years and we’re able to get them back to them, so it’s really good to do.”

And even if you don’t have a pet, you should care about this special day. According to Salt Lake County, the average cost to have an animal in a shelter for a day is $33.

“In a sense, you do have a dog or a cat because you pay taxes and some of those taxes go to operate municipal shelters, so the more of those animals can be reunited with their owners the less they will be staying at a shelter,” said Carl Arky, director of communication for the Human Society of Utah.

For more information on the Humane Society of Utah, visit their website.