PHOENIX – Hundreds of stray animals come into Maricopa County Animal Care and Control every week and many of them are pets. Getting these lost family members back to their owners is a part of the mission and culture at the department. To help in that effort the Board of Supervisors accepted a donation of $13,500 from LovePup Foundation to place microchips in dogs before every adoption.
“This is one more example of how animal care operations are progressing,” said Chairman Steve Chucri, Board of Supervisors, District 2. “We continue to build crucial partnerships with organizations like LovePup Foundation that help us reconnect dogs to their owners.”
It is estimated one third of pets will become lost at some point in their life. Microchips with owner information are a reliable way to return them to their home. Animal Care and Control has offered this service for a fee in the past and can now provide it for all dogs leaving the shelter thanks to this grant.
“Most people want to find their missing pet and this technology can bring them together more quickly,” said Blake Van Es, LovePup founder. “Microchips are an affordable solution to slowing the cycle of lost pets.”
LovePup and Animal Care and Control believe they can save more animal lives by getting dogs home before they enter the shelter environment. Lerner & Rowe law firm generously agreed to underwrite the microchip program so every new owner’s information is added to the dog during the adoption process.
“This kind of collaboration has the potential to save more lives,” said Mary Martin, Director of Animal Care and Control. “We deal with thousands of dogs every year and microchips can prevent dogs from ever entering the shelter. There is nothing better than delivering a dog back to a family because you can tell right away where they belong.”
Since January, 2017, the live-release rate at Maricopa County Animal Shelters has remained at 94% or higher. This is up from 84% in 2016. At the same time return-to-owner numbers have increased steadily each year. MCACC is one of the largest animal shelter systems in the country, taking in more than 32,000 animals in 2016.