The Penticton SPCA’s annual open house is always a fun affair, but they are offering something different for this year’s event on May 14.
Along with fundraisers like a plant sale, barbecue, flea market and bake sale, they will also have a veterinarian on hand to implant microchips in your pet.
Carolyn Hawkins, manager of the Penticton branch, said the microchips, which emit a short-range radio signal to help identify your pet if it is lost, is becoming more popular with owners.
“It is a better identification. If you had a licence with a collar, the collar could come off easily. Or a tattoo; sometimes after a few years, the tattoo is not readable,” said Hawkins. “A microchip is always there, for life.”
The microchip can be installed without the animal having to be put under anaesthesia. The veterinarian inserts it under the animal’s skin with a needle.
“It is about the size of a grain of rice,” said Hawkins, describing it as “just a pinch.”
“Sort of like a flu shot for us,” she said.
The code is entered into the B.C. Pet Registry. Then, when the SPCA or animal control officers have animals come in as a stray, the signal can be read with a microchip reader and checked against the registry.
“We are usually able to find the owner,” said Hawkins. Two options will be offered during the microchip clinic at the open house: $25 for a one-year entry on the registry, or $60 for a lifetime, so the pet won’t need to be re-registered yearly.
Hawkins said microchipping is now done at the same time as spaying and neutering the pet. But there are many pets, that haven’t been chipped.
“With this microchip clinic, we are just trying to give people options if they haven’t already had it done,” she said.
The open house takes place on May 14 from noon to 4 p.m. at the SPCA facility at 2200 Dartmouth Dr. Proceeds support the South Okanagan B.C. SPCA.