‘Chip’ in for the dogsDog lovers can give their canine companions a dose of style Sunday while providing a link that could bring them safely home.
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
Dog lovers can give their canine companions a dose of style Sunday while providing a link that could bring them safely home.
A “Chip-n-Clip” event runs noon to 3 p.m. at Miranda’s Smooch a Pooch Salon, 1827 Iowa Ave.
Dr. Amanda Bruce offers pet micro-chipping for the discounted cost of $30.
“We really wanted to do something for Superior, in Superior,” said Bruce, owner of PetCare of Duluth.
Five members of the Smooch a Pooch staff will donate their time to provide free grooming services, from nail trims and polish to ear cleaning and bows. Donations will be accepted for the grooming, with proceeds earmarked for a fund at Animal Allies Humane Society to help pay for spaying and neutering dogs from Superior and Douglas County.
“Pairing with grooming opened up the door for more people,” said Bruce, who lives in Superior. She hopes the event will get people talking about the importance of spaying and neutering pets.
A microchip can reunite a lost pet with its owner. It’s a permanent backup to a collar with an identification tag and phone number.
“Collars come off,” said Brooke Jussila, co-owner of Smooch a Pooch. She knows of many lost pets that got safely home thanks to a microchip, a tiny transponder about the size of a grain of rice that transmits information about the pet. It is transplanted just under the animal’s skin, usually right between the shoulder blades. Scanners are available at veterinarian offices and many shelters to check for the chips.
The most famous local case was that of Endo, a mastiff who was returned to his Florida family thanks to a microchip. But he’s not the only one.
Jussila recalled a dog that was found wandering by Dan’s Feed Bin recently. They took the animal to Superior Animal Hospital and scanned it, finding the microchip.
“It was back home by the next morning,” Jussila said.
The procedure is quick and there are no recurring costs to keep the microchip active, Bruce said. Although the grooming proceeds support Superior pooches, any dog owner can drop by for grooming and micro-chipping services. Even people who don’t have a pet can stop by Smooch a Pooch Sunday to drop off a donation for the spay/neuter fund.
“It’s a way they can make a difference in their community,” Bruce said.
PetCare provides low-cost vaccines and preventative care for dogs and cats. About 50 percent of the dogs seen at the clinic are not spayed or neutered, Bruce said. Most owners said cost was a barrier.
“Even though there are reduced-cost services available, I still think the cost of spaying and neutering is out of reach of a certain demographic of people,” Bruce said.
Not only do they prevent unwanted litters, the surgeries can provide health benefits. Spaying can prevent uterine infections and breast cancer in female dogs. Neutering prevents testicular cancer in male dogs and can stop them from roaming.
Animal Allies has received a number of grants to provide free spaying and neutering for cats from certain areas, including Superior. That’s because there is such an overpopulation of cats flowing into shelters. But the same kind of help is not available for dog owners.
In a two-pronged effort, the “Chip-n-Clip” event aims to keep pets out of shelters.
“We are looking to just let people know they can make a difference for pets in the community with a really simple gesture,” Bruce said.