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JoAnna Lou
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Double Checking
New law requires Ga. shelters to scan pets twice for microchips

Last year I wrote about a study of animal shelters that found 12 percent of microchips go undetected on the first scan. Thanks to a new law, lost Georgia pets can rest assured that there’s a greater chance of being identified and reunited with their families. House Bill 1106, sponsored by Representative Gene Maddox and Senator Greg Goggans, will go into effect on July 1st requiring shelters statewide to scan pets twice for microchips--once at intake and another time before euthanasia.

In the bill’s infancy, there was concern that the cost of requiring microchip scanning would prevent the legislation from being passed. To ensure the bill’s success, the American Kennel Club Companion Animal Recovery (AKC CAR) pledged 25 microchip scanners to Georgia shelters. HomeAgain and Bayer followed suit by pledging an additional 20 scanners each.

Microchips are inexpensive and easy to implant. According to the AKC CAR, microchipped pets are up to 20 times more likely to return home. Hopefully, Georgia’s legislation will encourage more people to microchip their pets and will help reunite more lost pets with their families.

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JoAnna Lou is a New York City-based researcher, writer and agility enthusiast.

Photo by Steve Dyson, The Kennel Club.

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