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Lakes Area Humane Society offers microchipping for pets

Appointments are required for the sessions, which take place Wednesdays and Thursdays from 5-6 p.m. at the cost of $25 each.

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Mushu the cat relaxes in his kennel at the Lakes Area Humane Society, which is offering pet microchipping.
Travis Gulbrandson / Alexandria Echo Press

ALEXANDRIA โ€” The Lakes Area Humane Society is offering low-cost pet microchipping.

Appointments are required for the sessions, which take place Wednesdays and Thursdays from 5-6 p.m. at the cost of $25 each.

"The more we can have microchipping in the community, the better off we are," said Christin Klimek, executive director of the Lakes Area Humane Society.

The microchips are roughly the size of a grain of rice, and are inserted between the dog or cat's shoulder blades through injection. Most animals don't even notice, Klimek said.

If a microchipped dog or cat is brought to the humane society, the chip can be scanned, which will then give important information like the animal's name, breed, age and contact information for the owner.

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"It's very helpful to have as much information as possible," Klimek said.

Microchipping has been around for approximately 20 years, Klimek said.

"It got to be a lot more mainstream in the last 15 years or so, and predominantly in shelters and rescues, because we see the importance of having animals with permanent IDs, so they can easily be reconnected with their owners," she said.

While collars and tags are still the way to go for easy identification, microchipping can be seen as something like a backup, Klimek said.

"You can never have too much identification," she said.

The Lakes Area Humane Society began microchipping dogs in 2014, and cats in 2017.

Nationally, about 40% of all dogs are microchipped, and about 20% of all cats, Klimek said.

"We would love to see the cat numbers go up much higher, because we get a lot of cats and very rarely do we see them microchipped," she said.

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However, microchips have helped the humane society to identify lost animals, Klimek said.

"We actually had a dog brought in once that had a chip from Germany," she said. "We had a difficult time connecting with the company. There was a language issue. But we did figure it out."

The biggest downfall of animal microchipping is that sometimes โ€” rarely, Klimek said โ€” the microchip can migrate under the animal's skin.

"We've caught some that were in the front chest area, and some kind of down the side, so when we scan an animal, it's interesting to look at, because we'll scan โ€ฆ the entire body," she said.

Ultimately, microchipping is another way for pet owners to keep their animals safe, Klimek said.

"We don't want animals to have to come to shelters, and we ultimately would love to have the strays get claimed by their owners," she said. "That's really what we want to see, to get them reunited with pet owners. It's a great tool to do that."

For more information, call the humane society at 320-759-2260.

Travis Gulbrandson covers several beats, including Osakis School Board and Osakis City Council, along with the Brandon-Evansville School Board. His focus will also be on crime and court news.
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