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— A microchip identification program will be made available to pet owners in the city of Gentry.

Council members gave their nod of approval Monday night to a proposal by animal control officer Warren Norman to start up the program in Gentry.

Once the new program is in place, pet owners will be able to have microchips implanted in their pets for $15 each. The chips could then be scanned to identify the animals and match them up to their owners through a national data base in which the pet owners’ names and contact information is stored.

The program will enable the Gentry Police Department to identify straying pets and return them to their owners more quickly. Instead of waiting for the owners to call, looking for a lost pet, the police department will be able to find a pet’s owner by scanning the animal and checking the national data base.

“We would like to start a new microchip program for the citizens of the community,” Norman wrote in a letter to the Gentry City Council. “This will ensure proper ownership of the pet and their pet’s safe return. Pets can lose their tags but they cannot lose a chip,” he wrote.

Since other departments, shelters and veterinarians also use scanners to find pet owners, the microchips are a useful tool to locate pet owners nationwide and to identify and recover stolen pets.

Gentry Police Chief Keith Smith said some dogs stolen from Gentry were recovered in Missouri because of the implanted chips.

The microchip program will be of minimal cost to the city. Two scanners have already been donated to the police department. The city will make an initial purchase of chips, but the program will be sustained by the fee pet owners pay to have the chips implanted.

Norman will perform the chip implant procedure.

“This is truly a great service for our animals and the community,” Norman wrote.

He invited anyone with questions about the program to contact him at the Gentry Police Department, 736-8400.

News, Pages 1 on 11/04/2009

Print Headline: Microchips to be made available to Gentry pet owners

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