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Santa Barbara Co. animal shelters offering free microchipping throughout the month of June

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Posted at 5:17 PM, May 31, 2023

The 4th of July is synonymous with fireworks, but what is a joyful celebration for some can be a very upsetting time for others, including pets.

“So more pets go missing over the 4th of July weekend more than any other time of the year,” said Santa Barbara Humane Chief Operation Officer Dori Villalon.

Many animals are frightened by fireworks and run away from their owners — sometimes leading to a challenging search.

In an effort to reunite pets with their owners and keep animals out of the shelter, Santa Barbara Humane is one of several Santa Barbara County shelter organizations offering free microchipping throughout the month of June.

“It doesn’t take long. It’s a quick appointment. No anesthesia is needed. A microchip is just a rice-sized chip that goes under the skin and it contains information that comes up when a scanner goes over it," Villalon said.

That information can then be linked to the owner in a database, leading to a speedy reunion.

“I think it’s a really good idea," said San Luis Obispo resident Karen Arrona.

Arrona lives in San Luis Obispo and says all of her pets are microchipped.

“A microchip is kind of something that’s not likely to come off," she said.

Her pets also have tags on their collars but the microchip is permanent.

“It’s great in emergencies. I’ve had dogs run away in thunderstorms, etc. So it is great to have that," Arrona said.

“The microchipping — I think it’s a good idea no matter what, not just for the 4th,” said San Luis Obispo resident Ilario DePalo.

Some pet owners say knowing how your pet might react to noise from fireworks and preparing in advance is key.

“Get home early before the noise starts and have the pups comfy with us," said San Luis Obispo resident George Beardsley.

Santa Barbara County Animal Services, CARE4Paws, ASAP Cats, and BUNS are also involved in the free microchipping event. To find a participating location, click here.