POCATELLO, Idaho - On Tuesday morning, the Pocatello Animal Shelter received two new stray dogs without collars, but thanks to the fact those dogs had microchip implants, the shelter was able to contact their owners.
And this is just a typical day for the shelter.
"They're great because if the animal has lost its collar or tags and doesn't have any identification, when we bring the animals into the shelter we scan everything and look for those chips," shelter director Mary Remer said.
But, there's just one problem - there are now so many different microchips advancing too rapidly, so many scanners can't identify some of those lost or stolen pets.
"That's the problem we're running into. Half of our scanners are obsolete; they don't work," Remer added.
But thanks to the community who voted for the shelter on a statewide pet rescue shelter challenge online, the animal shelter was awarded a $1,000 grant to purchase new, universal scanners.
The new scanners can now even read international chips, with many pets who wind-up in Pocatello from their homes which can be thousands of miles away.
"There are quite a few times we will find the chip, call the owner, and they didn't even realize their dog was out yet," Remer said.
Remer also noted, these new scanners will not require pet owners to get new, updated microchips, but they still need to make sure they keep the animal's registration up-to-date on a yearly basis in order for the microchip process to work efficiently.