FAIRMONT - The microchip implant for dogs is now available at Martin County Humane Society, thanks to Steve and Jean Fisher of Swea City, Iowa.
About a dozen dogs have received the implant.
"We've gone to Dr. (Dennis) Katzer for so many years for our pets," explained Jean Fisher. "He does so much for the Humane Society, some pro bono. When we asked how much that was, it was huge. So the first time we donated, we donated to that."
HELLO?THERE?— Robin Wiebe, a worker at the Martin County Humane Society, holds Rambo as he is introduced to Steven and Jean Fisher of Swea City. The Fishers donated money to begin a microchip implant program for dogs at the Humane Society.
The Fishers also donated to the Humane Society building project, which reached its goal earlier this year.
"They're now getting bids, and they hope to start building in the spring," Steve Fisher said.
But there's always more to be done.
"It's amazing the dogs that come through here," said Robin Wiebe, a care provider at the Humane Society. "A lot of dogs are strays, yet we're also seeing dogs that are purebreds, trained."
"I know if it was my dog that was lost, I would want him to be found," said Jean Fisher.
While pets should wear collar tags imprinted with their name and the phone number of their owner, only a microchip provides permanent ID that cannot fall off, be removed or become impossible to read.
"The wand to read the microchip was donated by the Bayer company," said Wiebe. "Otherwise, those wands cost hundreds of dollars."
Implantation of the microchip is $29.50 per dog, and the ones used through the Humane Society offer free online registration. Microchips carry a unique ID number. Chip implantation comes with a one-time fee, but the product?will last the lifetime of the pet.
If a pet gets lost and is taken to a vet clinic or animal shelter, the animal will be scanned for a microchip to reveal his ID number. That number will be called into the pet recovery service, and the registered owner will be contacted using the contact information on file with the pet's microchip.
It is vital for pet owners to keep contact information up to date so that they can be reached.
"There was a case in Texas where a family lost their dog," recalled Peggy Resick of Chain of Lakes Pet Hospital. "Three years later, it turned up in the pound there and they were contacted because they had the microchip implanted. Another family was trying to claim the dog because they had it for those three years. But the microchip implant proved the dog's rightful owners."
Currently, the Humane Society is only doing microchip implants on dogs that have the likelihood of being adopted.
"There are too many cats to be able to do it," Resick said. "It would be a possibility if more funds were donated."
"This is a good start," Steve Fisher said. "Hopefully more people will get involved and we can all do more."