The Hall County Animal Shelter is encouraging all pet owners to microchip their animals so that owners may be located should their pets go missing.
“There are many cases where an animal can go missing,” Hall County Animal Shelter Program Coordinator Stephanie Maloch said. “If that animal gets picked up and it has a microchip, then we can find its owner.”
A microchip is a small device that is around the size of a grain of rice. It is typically implanted between the animal’s front shoulder blades and has a unique number attached to it that is linked to the pet and pet owner’s information.
“Microchipping is a 10-minute procedure that will cost $20 at the Hall County Animal Shelter, so it’s a fairly inexpensive service to ensure your pet’s safe return home,” Maloch said. “You can get an even better rate if you combine the service with a rabies vaccine and get both for $25.”
Should your pet already have a microchip, it is crucial to maintain that microchip and update the owner's information, such as the home address or phone number, if the registered information is no longer valid.
“Another thing people might not know when it comes to microchip companies is that some of them charge an annual fee to maintain the microchip activation. Once a payment is missed on that microchip, that account goes dormant, so it is very important you know what microchip company has been used on your pet,” Maloch said.
The Hall County Animal Shelter utilizes a company called 24 Pet Watch for all its microchip procedures, which is a company that does not require an annual fee; however, it does charge a small fee if the owner's information needs to be updated.
“If you need to find out what microchip company has been used on your pet, just bring it into the Animal Shelter, and one of our staff members will conduct a full body scan using a universal microchip scanner,” Maloch said. “Once you figure the company out, you can call them to maintain your pet’s microchip.”
Hall County Animal Services has a three-point scanning process in place where Animal Control will scan each animal that is picked up, while every animal that is brought through the shelter’s front door is also scanned. All animals are scanned a second time once they are brought into the exam room and a third time once they are taken to the kennel area.
“We triple-check each and every animal because it is not uncommon for microchips to migrate, and we want to be sure we have done everything in our power to locate each animal’s pet owner,” Maloch said.
Each dog and cat that is adopted from the Hall County Animal Shelter is spayed or neutered, microchipped and given the first round of shots.
To schedule an appointment with the Animal Shelter to get your pet microchipped, call the shelter at (678) 450-1587 during its business hours Tuesday - Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
To see a list of adoptable pets, visit the shelter online.