Help for lost pets goes high tech: NHARA donates microchip readers to 2 police departments

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Emotional Support Dog Libby and Officer Ashley Kosta of the Goffstown
Police Department try out the new scanner. Courtesy Photo

GOFFSTOWN, NH The NH Animal Rescue Alliance (NHARA) has donated a pet microchip reader to both the Goffstown and New Boston police departments this week. Microchip readers scan lost pets and can aid in the quick reuniting of pet and owner when a microchip is detected. Without a microchip scanner on-hand nor animal control officers, these rural police departments previously did not have this important tool to aid in the safe and reliable return of many lost pets with their owners.

Microchips implanted in pets are tiny transponders, about the size of a grain of rice, typically used in cats and dogs and usually placed subcutaneously between the shoulder blades by a veterinarian. A microchip scanner, like those donated by NHARA, reads the microchip and displays the unique registration number associated with the chip. Free, online services identify the chip through the scanned number and assist in contacting the owner of the pet via phone or e-mail. While not all pets are microchipped, the ability to scan a found animal in this way ensures a speedy return and happy reunion for those who are. 

“The scanner works great! We are looking forward to using it to help animals in our community,” said  Det.  Sgt. Kevin Laroche, Goffstown Police Dept. 

The NHARA is an extension of a local animal rescue not-for profit that had been active in the Goffstown and New Boston communities for many years. The mission of the NHARA is to support all licensed New Hampshire animal rescues and shelters through joint fundraising efforts, legislative monitoring, administrative support, consumer education, and educational seminars. The motto of the NHARA is “help the helpers!”

The founding members of the NHARA include two animal lovers living in Goffstown and New Boston, respectively. News that neither local police department had microchip scanners led to the donation of the microchip scanners.

“It is stressful for both the lost pet and their owner when a pet is missing,” said Laura Gilman-Boutot, Executive Director of the NHARA. “The ability to quickly scan a dog or cat that has been found by a member of the community or an officer will help reunite some of the lost pets with their owners as quickly as possible. It’s something we felt was important for our local law enforcement departments to have, and we are happy to provide them this tool.”

While not all pets are microchipped, the timely reunification of those who do have a microchip is a time-saving benefit for not only the families and pets, but also for the police departments. In NH, rescues and shelters are required to “permanently identify” animals that are adopted from them, so the percentage of microchipped animals is growing each year.

If an owner is interested in microchipping a pet they own that is not microchipped currently, they should contact their pet’s veterinarian. Once implanted, the microchip must be registered. Registration may require an additional fee. For both pets already chipped and for newly chipped pets, it is important to confirm the owner’s contact information is updated regularly, especially after any moves of changes in phone numbers.

The NH animal rescue alliance is excited to be aiding animal organizations in NH. We look forward to having your support and connecting with you at our upcoming community and fundraising events. Please follow us on Facebook and keep an eye on our website for up to date news and events. Fore more information ⇒


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