New York Law For ‘Lost Pets’ Could Become Model For Other States

Over the years, locating our lost pets is a very traumatic experience for many pet owners — particularly since there are so many factors in motion. working against the possibility of them ever being found again.

Voilà . . .

Then . . . along came the microchip. Both pet owners and veterinarians unanimously praised the new technology, as they believed it would turn the tide on this issue. Not only was there a belief that more pets would be found, we also felt it would cut down on the number of euthanized animals in shelters and rescue homes.

Not a Cure-all

However, we soon learned this scientific breakthrough was not the a ‘magic cure.’  For microchips to really work, you need people to proactively aid the process. You need folks who find animals to do all they can to find the original owners — and you need shelters and rescue homes to search for microchips before euthanasia.

Without those actions, pet owners with lost pets are back to square one. For instance, in my previous blog, titled, “Dog-gone Christmas Miracle!” I reported on a ‘microchipped’ dog that went missing, traveled half-way across the country, and wasn’t returned to his owners until over 7 years had passed.  

Lost dogs who have been implanted with a microchip return to their owners only about 52 percent of the time, according to a study by the American Veterinary Medical Association.

New York has an answer . . .

In the state of New York there appears to be a remedy.

A new law just passed, which will help to reunite pet owners with their lost dogs and cats. Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into legislation December 18, that requires found pets to be checked for microchips within 24 hours after being found.

The new law requires that animal shelters, rescue groups and other organizations, which take in found pets to check to see if the found animals have a microchip or other identifying information. It becomes incumbent on the finder to contact the owners within 24 hours.

“Today, we took a huge step forward in safeguarding the cats and dogs of New York state," said the bill's sponsor Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, D-Manhattan.

"Losing a pet is a crushing experience. Better utilization of microchip technology will help make immediate, long-range connections between owner and pet that have never before been possible."

The bill's supporters said the measure will provide more uniformed standards on the use of pet microchips and help to return pets more quickly and effectively.

“This law will help create standards for the use of microchip technology to reunite more lost pets with their families, ease over-crowding at our animal shelters and rescues and reduce some of the financial burden on those organizations,” said the bill's Senate sponsor, Sen. James Tedisco, R-Schenectady.

Hopefully this measure will help increase the current 52% return-rate. And hopefully other states will follow suit and this legislation will becom the law of the land.

Primary Source: Lost a Pet? There's a new NY Law for that