A free microchip clinic for cats is set to take place in Red Deer this weekend.
The Red Deer and District SPCA, Alberta Animal Services and Whisker Rescue are joining forces to offer the first annual clinic.
“We hope that more people will take advantage of the free clinic,” said Amy Corpe, animal care manager with the Red Deer SPCA. “We didn’t want cost to be a barrier so we sought the support of sponsor Eidap to provide the chips at no cost. We expect to provide ID to as many as 300 cats on the day.”
Two locations in Red Deer will host the microchip clinic on Saturday including the Red Deer and District SPCA (4505 77 St.) and Petland (100, 5250 22 St.). The clinics will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
There is no limit to the number of cats that can be brought, but they have to be owned by the person bringing them in. Pre-registration is not required, the clinic will happen on a first come, first served basis.
Corpe said it is important cats are brought in a proper kennel when traveling and entering the clinic.
Microchips are a form of permanent identification for pets. They are about the size of a grain of rice and are embedded just under the skin, between the shoulder blades. When the pet is scanned, the number that has been registered to them will show up.
These numbers are specific to each microchip company, so the person who scanned the pet will know to contact Eidap.
Eidap can then search the number in their database and retrieve information so the agency can reunite the owner with their pet.
If an owner changes their location at anytime during the life of their pet, that can also be updated on the microchip file.
“We have personally seen micro-chipping save an animal’s life by being able to return the pet to their owner.”
Meanwhile, Corpe said the plan is to make this an annual event.
“We are definitely looking at doing this annually and in the future we are hoping to include dogs as well,” she said. “The reason we are focusing on cats this time is because The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies has been doing recent studies on the cat overpopulation crisis all throughout Canada.
“We definitely experience that in Red Deer and we wanted to focus on the cats as a starting point.”