All pets adopted from Maricopa County shelters will soon come with microchips to identify their owners.
The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors approved mandatory chip implants Wednesday for any animal adopted from a countyrun shelter as of July 1.
"It’s really exciting news because it will guarantee that more lost animals will get home," said Julie Bank, a spokeswoman for Maricopa County Animal Care and Control.
Though the county requires that dogs have a license, Bank said shelter workers find many registrations have expired. Or they find the dog’s owner kept registration current, but didn’t put a tag on the animal.
Those problems shouldn’t get in the way of an owner finding a lost animal that has a microchip, Bank said. The chip is implanted, giving a lifelong marker when a shelter worker scans the animal and checks a database for matching information.
The chip will cost $15. Bank said the fee shouldn’t hurt adoption numbers because charges are based on a sliding scale of $30 to $150. The county hopes the chips will cut the number of pets euthanized every year — about 10,000.