Micro-Chipping. Each year thousands of dogs enter various county animal services. The lucky ones find a new home and before they leave most are micro chipped. Micro chipping takes just seconds. A hollow needle is used to place a rice-sized identification chip under a dog or cat’s skin. Then if the pet is lost, a scanner shows the chip’s number and the pet’s owner can be tracked. At some animal service centers, vets are on staff, but a lot of smaller agencies and private rescue groups also do micro chipping without a vet. One shelter volunteer said, over the past 11 years trained volunteers with her rescue group have safely micro chipped hundreds of dogs. She also said it’s not a surgical procedure and doesn’t require anesthesia so why the need for a vet.
But now there’s a move on to restrict micro chipping to veterinarians or to someone under a vet’s supervision. The topic is scheduled for this month’s meeting of the Florida Board of Veterinary Medicine. The restrictions could financially hamper small rescue groups. Paying a full fee for micro chipping would impact the number of animals many small shelters could bring into their program due to the increased costs. The Florida Animal Control Association also opposes tighter micro chipping rules. Those leery of tighter restrictions fear less animals being micro chipped and more being euthanized.
While various groups are lining up against the restrictions, at the state level information about the issue is murky. A spokesman for the Board of Veterinary Medicine says the board has always considered micro chipping surgery and the territory of veterinarians and that no new rules or regulations have been written, so it’s unclear why the issue is on this month’s agenda.
Board chairman Dr. Robert O’Neil refused to comment on the issue or explain why veterinarians are concerned.