Pets get chips off the new block

Jen Read, animal care technician at the Iowa City Care and Adoption Center injects a dog with a microchip while her colleague, Chad Mason, animal services assistant holds it still during a Dog Microchip Clinic at the MidWestOne Bank parking lot in Iowa City, Saturday, June 11, 2016. Pet owners can make an appointment with the Iowa City Animal Care and Adoption Center if interested in microchipping their pet.  (The Daily Iowan/Ting Xuan Tan)

Ting Xuan Tan

Jen Read, animal care technician at the Iowa City Care and Adoption Center injects a dog with a microchip while her colleague, Chad Mason, animal services assistant holds it still during a Dog Microchip Clinic at the MidWestOne Bank parking lot in Iowa City, Saturday, June 11, 2016. Pet owners can make an appointment with the Iowa City Animal Care and Adoption Center if interested in microchipping their pet. (The Daily Iowan/Ting Xuan Tan)

By Ana Barrett

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Despite a slight drop in participation numbers, one local group is continuing to work to provide identification for Iowa City pets.

The Iowa City Animal Care & Adoption Center and MidwestOne bank held a free microchip clinic for pet owners in the bank parking lot on June 11.

Chad Mason, an animal services assistant at the Iowa City Animal Care & Adoption Center, said microchips are important in case a pet is lost or stolen and it doesn’t have a collar or tag.

“It provides permanent identification and allows us to get them returned quickly,” Mason said.

Mason said the free microchip clinic is beneficial for Iowa City residents because implanting microchips normally costs from $30 to $80. The animal center implants microchips for a reduced fee of $10, and people can choose to pay $20 to have their pets registered nationally, not just locally.

In addition to microchips, he said, it is imperative that animals be spayed or neutered and up to date with their rabies vaccinations. Mason said stray animals are an issue in Iowa City, so with the help of spaying and neutering, there will be fewer stray animals.

Jenny Olson, a marketing associate for MidwestOne, said the event has occurred annually since 2008, and while numbers have declined in the years since, she still considers the turnout to be fairly big.

Zoey Dietz adopted a dog from a shelter not too long ago, and she said she had a microchip implanted in case he ever gets lost.

“I know people who have adopted lost dogs because they [didn’t have microchips], and I can’t imagine that happening,” Dietz said.

Each animal with a microchip is assigned a unique dog or cat ID code. The number is used to identify the pet and retrieve the owner’s contact information, which is then used to reunite the owner and pet.

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