Recently, a dog picked up by the Fayette County Dog Shelter was able to be returned to its original family after being missing for two years, although it had to leave the family it had been living with during that time.
Fayette County Dog Warden Nelson Prater explained staff was called to pick up a stray in Jeffersonville. Once brought back to the shelter, it was scanned for a microchip.
According to www.homeagain.com, “Dog and cat microchipping is a simple procedure. A veterinarian simply injects a microchip for pets, about the size of a grain of rice (12mm), beneath the surface of your pet’s skin between the shoulder blades. The process is similar to an injection and takes only a few seconds. No anesthetic is required.”
The website further explains, “A HomeAgain microchip is a permanent pet ID. The microchip itself has no internal energy source, so it will last the life of your pet. It is read by passing a microchip scanner over the pet’s shoulder blades. The scanner emits a low radio frequency that provides the power necessary where the chip is located to transmit the microchip’s unique cat or dog ID code and positively identify the pet.”
Essentially, this company’s microchip, once placed within a pet, will always have a code linked to the registered contact information at no extra cost, and that contact information can be updated as needed. While it isn’t necessary, there is an option to purchase a renewal of premium (extra) services annually, following a one-year free trial typically given with a new microchip.
The stray dog had a microchip and upon contacting his microchip company, shelter staff were informed the dog’s name was registered as “Ruger,” and Ruger had been registered as missing on May 28 of 2018 from Springfield.
Basically, according to Prater, a family in Jeffersonville had been given the dog and had been taking care of it since approximately the same time it was registered as missing. As the dog did not have tags and was registered to the Springfield family through the microchip, he was returned to the Springfield family.
According to Prater, Ruger’s Springfield family member left work to pick him up from the shelter. Ruger’s behavior upon seeing his long lost owner included “whining and jumping all over her and carrying on” while the owner was “extremely emotional.”
“I would stress that if you have a dog given to you, and it might not sound like a legit situation, or you find a dog, you need to reach out to your county warden and verify that no one’s missing it,” said Prater. “Just so you know that you rightfully own a dog that is rightfully yours.”
This check should include having the animal, whether it be dog or cat, scanned to see if it has a microchip. Many shelters, vet clinics and humane societies can scan pets.
According to Fayette Regional Humane Society (FRHS) Executive Director Lee Schrader, “people can bring animals in to have us scan them, and we scan any dog or cat who is homeless so we can hopefully find their owner.”
FRHS offers microchipping and registration of the microchip for $30, according to Schrader. They also microchip all of their adoptable pets.
“I would suggest that all pets be microchipped, as it helps them to reunite with their owners if lost,” said Schrader.
Microchips can typically be purchased and injected at local vet offices as well; however, different places will charge varying amounts (including office visit fees) and may use varying microchip companies.
Please note that pet owners should do their own research and speak with their veterinarian prior to making any medical choices for their furry family members.
Another option to help with getting lost dogs home (and can show proof of ownership), is to purchase tags for all dogs in the household. Getting tags is also a legal requirement.
As previously reported, those who choose not to license their dogs through the Fayette County Auditor or Dog Shelter can be issued a citation and be charged with a minor misdemeanor.
The dog shelter is located at 1550 Robinson Road in Washington C.H. It only accepts cash payments and will only issue one-year tag registrations.
The Fayette County Auditor’s Office is located in the county administration building, 133 S. Main St. in Washington C.H., suite 303. Cash and checks can be accepted at this location and they can issue multi-year and permanent licenses. Currently, the office is open with one customer allowed in at a time.
The cost for 2020 tags (per dog) is $14 for the year, $42 for every three years or $140 for a permanent license. There is also a $14 late fee as open registration for 2020 ended on Jan. 31.
Information needed when getting tags for a dog includes an estimation of the dog’s age, the dog’s breed (mixed breed is an option), the address for the owners, the owners’ names and the dog’s name.
Tags bought at stores or out of machines are identification tags and do not count for the state law.
For a previously published article about the dog licensing process (purchasing tags locally), please read “It’s state law to license your dog” which can be found at www.recordherald.com/news/43146/its-state-law-to-tag-your-dog.
Reach Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355 or on Twitter @JennMWoods.