WASHOE COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE NEWS RELEASE – Solo’s favorite blue blanket remained unused for eight months. The little Chihuahua’s owners thought it would never be used again, but Juanita Avila held on to it anyway. Last Friday, Solo, his owners and his blanket were joyfully reunited thanks to a microchip.
The three-year-old Chihuahua got out of Avila’s Sparks home in May of 2012 and disappeared. Avila checked the Animal Services website daily hoping for news of her dog, but months went by without a word. “Everyone knew how sad I was,” Avila said. “I thought about him every day and just hoped he was okay and that somebody was being good to him.” Avila had given up hope, but held on to Solo’s blue blanket anyway. Then, last Friday, she got the call from Regional Animal Services. Solo had been found running down Fourth Street in Reno. Because Solo is licensed and has a microchip, getting the lost dog home was easy.
Because of stories like Solo’s, Washoe County Regional Animal Services has launched an unprecedented one-year campaign to provide free microchips to all Washoe County pet owners. As part of this campaign, Regional Animal Services will also use their Mobile Command Center to staff regular field clinics in different Washoe County communities throughout the year.
“We believe that microchipping is your pet’s best chance of returning home if it ever becomes lost and we want to do everything we can to help reunite lost pets with their owners as efficiently and effectively as possible,” Regional Animal Services Director Barry Brode said. Brode said over 400 pets were microchipped during the first week of the campaign. The goal is to microchip a minimum of 5,000 pets by the end of January 2014.
A microchip is a small, electronic chip enclosed in a glass cylinder about the size of a grain of rice. The microchip is activated by a scanner which receives information about the pet’s owners and home from the chip. In most cases, microchipped pets can be scanned in the field and returned to their homes without ever having to be brought to the shelter, reducing stress for the pet, the pet owner and the cost of operating Animal Services.Once microchipped, Animal Services encourages pet owners to register their microchip online at homeagain.com to ensure proper identification if the pet should ever become lost outside of Washoe County.
The first field clinic takes place this Tuesday, February 5, from 12 noon to 4:00 p.m. in the Scolari’s parking lot at 5430 Sun Valley Blvd., Sun Valley. The next field clinic will be held on Tuesday, February 19, from 12 noon to 4:00 p.m. at Dickey’s Bar-B-Que, 290 Lemmon Drive, Lemmon Valley.
Through January 2014, free microchips will also be available from the Regional Animal Services Facility on Longley Lane between the hours of 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday (excluding holidays).
For more information about this special microchipping campaign, visit WashoeAnimals.com.
The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office celebrated 150 years of proud service and community partnership in 2011. Sheriff Michael Haley is the 25th person elected to serve as the Sheriff of Washoe County. His office continues to be the only full service public safety agency operating within northern Nevada and is responsible for operating the consolidated detention facility, regional crime lab, Northern Nevada Counter Terrorism Center, Internet Crimes against Children Task Force, court security, service of civil process, traditional street patrols and Regional Animal Services.