Updated December 1, 2023 - 8:21 pm
The Animal Foundation is offering free pet microchipping through the end of the year thanks to a private donor, the city of Las Vegas and the nonprofit shelter announced Friday.
The anonymous contributor will pay for more than 750 procedures, foundation CEO Hilarie Grey said. The chipping process — in which a rice-grain-sized chip is injected into dogs or cats — takes seconds and normally costs between $25 and $40.
Owners program their contact information into the tiny device, which is registered in databases, Grey said. Stray pets can be scanned to pull up their home address and phone numbers, which the owners can update if they change.
Microchipping will be a requirement starting in August for city of Las Vegas dogs and cats to obtain mandated pet licenses.
Councilman Cedric Crear, who introduced the ordinance, said he recently got his new dog chipped at the foundation.
“It was a very easy process, it was a seamless process, and it seemed like it was a painless process, too,” he said.
It “takes a few seconds” for a pet dog or cat to go missing, particularly in the holiday season when home doors are open more often to welcome visitors or pick up a mail package, Grey said.
“It’s heartbreaking for people,” she said. “Nobody wants to lose their pet.”
And it’s much more difficult to return pets with no chips back to their owners, Grey said. That contributes to shelter overpopulation, which the foundation has struggled with in the recent past.
About half of stray pets turned into the shelter are not microchipped, she said.
Las Vegas and other local governments are working to right the course at the taxpayer-funded shelter, which has struggled with understaffing and allegations of mismanagement.
“If you look at where we were — from even say a year ago to where we are now — we’ve had leaps and bounds moving forward in the right direction; it’s very positive,” Crear said.
The shelter has has 40 more employees than it did this time last year, Grey said. Acting Chief Operating Officer Terran Tull accepted a full-time position in September.
Online appointments to microchip pets are available at the foundation’s website. Each pet requires a separate appointment, which can also be used to vaccinate the animals, Grey said.
The more people who microchip their pets,” she said, “the more happy reunions we’re going to see.”