FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) -- Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control announced Monday that they'll be offering free microchips and ID tags for Allen County residents for the month of March.
The shelter says microchips are the number one way to get lost animals returned to owners quickly.
Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control
Meet Cookie Dough, the cat that lives in a barn at Oak Farm Montessori School in Avila.
Playing ball with the 7th and 8th graders is her happy place.
When she vanished a couple of weeks ago, Jaxton Routsong and his classmates were devastated.
Then, when she showed up in Fort Wayne a week later, they were puzzled. ‘
“Probably hopped on a trailer or a train,” Routsong said.
How a cat managed to travel 30 minutes south? A mystery.
“How did it get there? We’re still not sure. There’s a story there I’m sure that cat can’t tell us,” School Farm Manager Crystal Leu said.
Leu says if it wasn’t for microchip technology, Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control would’ve never been able to return her safely.
“With the chip, they were able to trace it to Hope for Animals who then with the numbers could get to the Routsong family who donated them, who then contacted me. It’s kind of a chain of events to be able to get the cat back otherwise she would probably have been living with someone else,” she said.
Holly Pasquinelli from Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control says only 38 percent of lost animals that come to the shelter are reclaimed by owners.
“We want to make sure every animal has identification. We know that’s the number one way to get those animals returned to their owners quickly,” Pasquinelli said.
That’s why the entire month of March they’ll be offering free microchips and ID tags to pet owners in Allen County.
“If an animal control officer finds an animal running stray, they can scan them right there, call the person up and take them straight home, instead of having them come to the shelter,” she said.
The initiative is a part of a national effort to keep more pets in homes and out of shelters called the No Place Like Home Challenge.
Free microchips will be available to the first 250 pet owners – there is no limit on the number of free ID tags.
Pet owners can visit the shelter between the hours of Noon – 4 p.m. Monday - Friday to get their pets microchipped and get a personalized ID tag.