By Sheila Goffe, Director, AKC Government Relations
Last week, North Carolina Senator Trudy Wade, DVM, took time out of her busy schedule as both Senator and practicing veterinarian to present a new universal AKC Reunite microchip scanner to the SPCA of the Triad and tour the SPCA’s facility located in Wade’s district in Greensboro, NC.
Brenda Overman, President of the SPCA of the Triad, said the scanner will make it much easier for the shelter to identify lost pets. The SPCA provides finds homes for hundreds of animals each year. “The new scanner will make our daily operations a lot easier,” she said. “We really appreciate the care and concern that Senator Wade and the AKC have shown for these animals.”
The scanner is one of 20 top-of-the-line universal microchip scanners that AKC Reunite is donating to shelters around the state to help lost pets in North Carolina be reunited with their owners. The donation program was established by the American Kennel Club and AKC Reunite to help shelters that otherwise might not have the resources to obtain the equipment.
In the last year, AKC Reunite has donated 17 scanners to shelters, animal welfare societies and animal control units around North Carolina. “As a North Carolina-based national non-profit, we are very pleased to help pets in our home state,” says Tom Sharp, AKC Reunite CEO.
The American Kennel Club/AKC Reunite scanner donation program grew out of legislation (SB 626) advocated by the American Kennel Club and supported by Sen. Wade that that requires North Carolina animal shelters that have access to microchip scanners to scan impounded animals and utilize information that is available through a microchip to locate the owner. The measure also allows animal control and other law enforcement officers to rescue pets in distress in closed vehicles and placed shelter oversight under the jurisdiction of the North Carolina’s animal welfare act.
Microchips, about the size of a grain of rice, are implanted between the shoulder blades of pets as identification. Shelters scan pets for microchips as part of their intake process and can contact the pet’s owner if the number that appears on the scanner is enrolled in a pet recovery database such as AKC Reunite. Lost pets with microchips are up to 20 times more likely to be reunited with their owners.
“As a veterinarian, I know the value of ensuring that all our animals receive the responsible care they need,” said Senator Wade. “AKC’s support of this new law and AKC Reunite’s donation of scanners demonstrates how we can work together as a community to address animal issues.”