Walking around East Grand Rapids, you quickly notice there are many animal lovers in our community. And this month, the Public Safety department made two investments to help our furry residents stay safe.
The first is a universal microchip scanner to help find the owners of lost pets.
“This new scanner will allow us to quickly identify the owners of microchiped pets who have wandered away,” Captain Ric Buikema said. “We encourage all of our residents to microchip their pets – as well as place tags on them – so we can return them safely home.”
The department regularly takes possession of pets and, if they are untagged, brings them to the Kent County Animal Shelter. It can cost owners up to $250 in fees to recover their lost pet from the shelter. This new reader will hopefully return lost animals to their owners and save residents from recovery fees.
To have your pet microchiped, contact your veterinarian. C-SNIP, a local nonprofit, also offers microchiping during a surgery, like spaying or neutering, at a reduced cost for low-income families.
The second investment is the purchase of animal-sized oxygen masks.
“In the unfortunate incident when we have to pull pets out of a smoke-filled structure, they often will need oxygen, too,” Buikema said. “These masks will allow us to comfortably administer oxygen to them to help alleviate any complications from smoke.”
Each of the City’s fire trucks will be equipped with an oxygen mask kit.
According to Buikema, the microchip reader, which cost $250, and the two oxygen mask kits, which cost $70 combined, are a relatively small investment considering it can cost a resident as much to retrieve their animals from the shelter.
“We live in an extremely pet friendly city so purchasing this equipment was a nice opportunity for us,” Buikema said. “We want to ensure that we can take care of all of our residents – even our furry ones.”