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L.A. City Council considers requiring pet owners to implant microchips in their recovered dogs and cats


The Los Angeles City Council is considering requiring owners to implant microchip IDs in their lost dogs and cats when they pick them up from area shelters.

Linda J. Barth, assistant general manager for L.A. Animal Services, said area animal shelters already implant microchips in every dog and cat adopted. Owners pay $15 to $25.

Under the proposed ordinance presented to the council public safety committee today, owners will be charged a $15 fee.

“It’s more about getting pets safely reunited,” Barth said. “It’s a humane issue.” There are more than 4,000 dogs captured each year, more of which have the microchips, she said. The technology is “clearly an effective tool,” she said.

The chips cost under $10, and funds generated by the plan would go to pay for services provided by local animal shelters, Barth said.

Under the plan, when an animal is returned to a shelter, animal control personnel would scan the microchips -- which are the size of a grain of rice and implanted into the back of the neck -- to find a unique nine-digit number that identifies pets and their owners through a private database.

City Councilman Tony Cardenas said shelters would reap the benefits of not having to house animals in often overcrowded shelters. “The fact that we’re willing to give a discount in the long run saves us money,” Cardenas said. “If [animals] aren’t chipped, it will be longer for them to be returned. It is a cost-saving measure.”

Phyllis M. Daugherty, director of the nonprofit organization Animal Issues Movement, said while implanting microchips doesn’t fix everything, it’s a good start. “If I take in the dog or cat and keep it and love it, that license should proceed [the implanted chip],” Daugherty said. “There are some downsides; it’s not always rosy.”

Cats stand to benefit the most from being getting microchips, she said.

“When [a cat is] lost, the chances of it getting help, unless it's friendly and walks right up to someone, are slim,” Daugherty said. “The city doesn’t pick up strays. The cat doesn’t stand a chance.”

The procedure is quick and painless for the animal, Daugherty said, but it’s crucial the owner remembers to update the information on the chip in case he or she moves or ownership of the pet changes.

The proposal now goes to the full City Council for a possible vote, which Barth said could be a few months away.

-- Gerrick D. Kennedy

Photo: Los Angeles Times file.

Comments () | Archives (2)

now government is going to tell me I have to pay for and have a surgical procedure on my pet? i don't want government tellng me what to do with my body or that of my pet. if you're going to institute something like this, how about mandatory spaying & neutering; unwanted animals pose a far greater financial & societal burden than lost animals.

This is nothing more than someone saying'Gee how can we line our fat pockets some more,at the expense of the gulliable tax-payer,let's hold their pet hostage and demand money for our vet's and chip makers if they wish to take home fluffy or fido.We all ready pay taxes which pay for this department,but when one goes their to retrieve a found pet they are hit up with so many fees and regulations that this building and workers may as well be a private,money making enterprise.I remember not long ago if a dog was lost and you found it at the pound,you I.D. your animal,show your paperwork as to it's current shots paperwork and you and your loved one are home and 9 out of 10 times the animal learns it lesson and recognized the smell of death concerning animal shelters.Well now I as a human recognize the smell of greed and sucessfull lobbing by chip makers on our L.A. City counsel.The sad result will be more animals euthanized becuase it will be cheaper to get another dog or cat than it will be to financially and morally bow down to this socialism type tactics.


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