Free microchip events encourage safety among pet owners

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A line formed outside Ameriana Bank in Westfield Saturday, as pet owners showed up to get free microchips for their dogs and cats.

The Bank partners with the Humane Society for Hamilton County to put on the yearly event. It’s one of many free microchip events offered by local humane societies.

“It’s something that has to be done if you’re a pet owner,” Jennifer Judd, with Hamilton County Humane, said.

First in line was Stephanie Garst’s family from Arcadia. They made the thirty minute drive to get three dogs microchipped.

“She got loose last week and I was worrying all day whether she was gonna stay at home or take off on me,” Garst said of one of her dogs.

Garst knows firsthand what a microchip can do. She lost her old dog once and because he had a microchip, getting him home was a breeze.

“He was able to come straight back home within 12 hours,” Garst said.

Last month, Fox 59 highlighted a phenomenon called “dog flipping,” where people falsely claim pets online and then resell them on Craigslist or other websites. One dog, Rosie, fell victim to the scam but with the help of strangers, was returned to her rightful owner who immediately had her microchipped.

“All too often we hear of pets being stolen or just lost and can’t be found, and with this microchip its an easy enough scan,” Rob Garrett with Ameriana Bank said.

Plus it’s an easy, nearly painless, process. It’s just like a shot and the microchip, the size of a grain of rice, embeds under the skin to later be scanned.

“I would definitely suggest it to anybody,” Garst said.

If you’d like to get a microchip for your own pet, visit your local humane society or check their website for free events like this one near you.