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Needham Animal Control Officer Receives New Microchip Scanner

The device, donated by Hopkinton Drug and the Massachusetts Animal Coalition, will help the department scan stray animals as part of a new law taking effect in November.

In an effort to help bring lost pets home, Hopkinton Drug and the Massachusetts Animal Coalition have donated a microchip scanner to Needham Animal Control Officer Danielle Landry. 

“We are very grateful for the generosity of Hopkinton Drug and MAC. This will definitely help us do the important work we do,” Landry said.

About the size of a grain of rice, microchips have been implanted in animals for years and offer a permanent unique registration number that cannot be altered or removed. Starting in November, ACOs in Massachusetts will be required to scan stray animals for a microchip as part of a new law updating animal control statutes.

“We think this is a perfect opportunity to highlight the importance of microchipping and to play a role in helping to get this technology to our ACOs. From experience, we have learned that microchipping offers a more reliable, quicker and more efficient way of helping to reunite more pets with their families,” said Anne Lindsay, founder of MAC.

HomeAgain is one of several companies offering microchips and scanners. Owners register their pets on a central database and, if the animal is lost, a veterinarian, shelter or animal control department representative can scan the animal. Once the chip is detected, the ACO can contact the microchip company and obtain the owner’s information. The donated scanners are able to read chips manufactured by other companies, in addition to its own.

The scanner donation is due, in part, to a grant to MAC from the “Hopkinton Drug Fund for Massachusetts Animal Shelters” program: for every veterinary prescription filled at Hopkinton Drug, money is set aside and disbursed to benefit local animal shelters and rescues. This grant provides valuable services to animals in need.

The other portion of the scanner donation is made possible by the MAC disaster fund.

“We think that disaster preparedness is important. If we have a disaster, such as last year’s Western Mass. tornado, microchip technology can be key to reuniting pets with owners," Lindsay said.

The Massachusetts Animal Coalition (MAC) plans to donate at least 20 scanners to Massachusetts ACOs and may develop a grant program to assist others with partial payment. 

Founded in 2000, The Massachusetts Animal Coalition (MAC) is a statewide, non-profit organization comprised of animal professionals and individual volunteers dedicated to working together to decrease the number of homeless, neglected, displaced and abused animals in Massachusetts. For more information, visit www.massanimalcoalition.org.

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