KINGSCBURG, Calif. (KFSN) --City leaders are expected to pass an ordinance Wednesday night requiring all dog owners to get their pets micro-chipped or face consequences. It's aimed at keeping the community safe and keeping pets out of local shelters.
At the Kingsburg Animal Hospital a dog named Nak was getting microchipped-- a simple and painless procedure. Veterinary Technician Misti Franklin injected the chip with a needle into the shoulder muscle.
"Some people, I believe, think it's like a surgical procedure and it's not, it's more like a vaccination."
It gives Nak's owner, Theresa Smith, peace of mind in the event he gets out.
"I'd be frantically looking for him, he could be hit by a car."
Identifying a dog with a chip is easy with a scanner that most veterinarians, pet shops, and animal shelters have. The scanner picks up a number on the chip, which is then entered into a computer database and the owner can be quickly found.
Dogs waiting to be adopted at Fresno County's Animal Shelter do not have chips yet. There is no way to find their owners and the clock is ticking.
"Because the stray hold is only 72 hours, so that means that their owners have a very limited amount of time of where they can find their pet before it goes up for adoption or to a rescue," said Amanda Allen, Fresno Humane.org.
Allen said she supports requiring animals to be chipped so they can get back to their families.
"That would be like heaven for an animal control agency because the animals that come in, if they are chipped, that microchip is linked to the owner's information and we can call them and they can go home right away-- so it would be a dream."
The city of Kingsburg is considering an ordinance requiring all dogs to be microchipped.
"We've got a lot of dogs in town that are owned that are habitually loose. And so, there's a lot of calls for service for our police department to try and handle that," said Alex Henderson, Kingsburg City Manager
Under the ordinance, if the same dog gets loose more than three times, the owner can be charged with a misdemeanor. But Henderson said the primary goal is animal welfare.
"We want to get them back home to their owners and make sure that they are safe."
More microchips could mean fewer dogs ending up in shelters with the clock ticking for their owners to find them.
The Kingsburg City Council has already given preliminary approval to the chipping ordinance. They are expected to give final approval at Wednesday night's meeting.