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Microchipping clinic helps prevent lost pets

A Lost Dogs Illinois Microchip Clinic will take place from 10 a.m. 2 p.m. Oct. 13 Joliet Township Animal Control

A Lost Dogs Illinois Microchip Clinic will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 13 at Joliet Township Animal Control, 2807 McDonough St., Joliet. The first 50 dogs will get a free microchip and goodie bag. | Submitted photo

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If you go

What: Lost Dogs Illinois Microchip Clinic

When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday

Where: Joliet Township Animal Control, 2807 McDonough St., Joliet

Etc: Free microchip and goodie bag to the first 50 dogs (one per household). After that, $15 per microchip (normally $20). Includes registration

Contact: 815-725-0333.

Updated: November 10, 2012 6:06AM



JOLIET — Don’t let your dog become an unfortunate statistic. Microchip it.

On Saturday, Joliet Township Animal Control will host a microchipping clinic with free microchips (includes registration) and goody bags to the first 50 dogs. (One dog per family.)

After the first 50 dogs, animal control will reduce the microchip cost from $20 to $15. Fear of cost or discomfort to your dog should not deter you.

“I think many people think it is an expensive and intrusive surgery,” said director Sarah Gimbel, “when in fact it is a quick injection that is no more painful than a dog’s yearly rabies shot.

Susan Taney, director of Lost Dogs Illinois, a nonprofit organization that is supplying the free microchips and goody bags, agreed.

Taney said Lost Dogs is able to provide the free microchips due to grant money from Lost Pets USA and Best Friends Network.

“All of my five dogs are microchipped, from the 10-pound Chihuahua to the 105-pound coon hound, and microchipping didn’t hurt any of them,” Taney said. “People think, ‘Oh, it will never happen to me. My dog will never get lost.’ Never say ‘Never.’ You need to be prepared.”

According to the Humane Society of the United States, many strays are lost pets that were not kept properly indoors or provided with identification. Yet, according to the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy, less than 2 percent of cats and only 15 percent to 20 percent of dogs are returned to their owners. Most of these were identified with tags, tattoos or microchips.

“If someone finds your dog, the vet or animal control first scans the entire body because microchips have been known to migrate. It’s a law that dogs must be scanned before they are euthanized,” Taney said. “If you keep information up to date, the dog should go back to you.”

Other ways to prevent a lost dog include always walking your dog with a leash, collaring it with current identification tags, putting gates or storm doors on outside doors, keeping the garage door down and using exercise pens to prevent bolting.

Despite your good intentions and best efforts, your dog may still become lost. Instead of panicking, Taney advises action. First, organize pertinent information about your dog, such as its name, color of collar, tags, microchip and current photo.

Second, set out food, water and your dog’s bed or an article of your clothing at the location where your dog was last seen. Your dog may return to that spot. Create fliers with a picture of your dog and your phone number, take a leash and some dog treats with you and start knocking on doors.

Contact all local animal shelters, animal control facilities, veterinarian clinics and police departments to report the missing dog. Remember to fax or email the dog’s photo and your contact information. Facebook and Craigslist are good resources, too.

If you or your helper sees the dog, shouting or chasing will only frighten it away. This is because lost dogs set certain priorities. The top is avoiding predators and if you behave like one, the dog will place you in that category. Instead, sit quietly on the ground, avert your eyes and lure it with the treats.

What if you find a lost dog?

“Take the dog to a vet clinic, shelter or animal control,” Taney said. “Have it scanned to see if it’s microchipped. Also, post fliers saying that you found the dog. This helps get it back to its rightful owner.”

For more information on Lost Dogs Illinois, as well as resources for reuniting lost dogs with their owners, visit www.lostdogsillinois.org or find Lost dogs Illinois on Facebook.



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