The California State Assembly recently passed a bill that would require all pets released from state animal rescue
shelters to be implanted with owner-identifying microchips. The bill is now on its way to the governor, the San Francisco Gate reports.
The bill, proposed by Senator Ted Lieu, a democrat from Torrance, would mandate that anyone who adopts or retrieves a pet from a California shelter must get a microchip implanted in the animal, the news source reports. Supporters say the measure would reduce the $300 million that taxpayers spend each year on pet euthanization, and would increase the chances of reuniting pet and owner.
Opponents of the bill worry that the microchips could cause medical problems and argue that the issue should be decided locally, not state-wide.
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, implanted microchips, when combined with visible collar identification tags, have proven to be the most reliable method for recovering lost or stray pets. Approximately 6 million companion animals enter shelters across the nation each year, with more than half being euthanized, the organization reports.