Disaster preparedness should include pet microchipping, says county

Two-hour clinic scheduled today

The county's Department of Animal Services will offer pet microchipping, rabies vaccinations, dog licenses and discount spay and neuter coupons during a clinic from noon to 2 p.m. today at Woodglen Vista Park in Santee, in advance of wildfire season.

County officials said as wildfire season approaches, disaster preparedness plans should be updated and should include pet microchipping.

"We have rescued hundreds of animals during past fires and the first thing we do is check for a microchip," county Animal Services Director Dawn Danielson said. "A microchip is the best way to reunite animals with their owners quickly after a disaster. It could save your pet's life."

Pet microchipping and rabies vaccinations will be available to anyone, but dog licenses and spay/neuter coupons will only be given to those who live in unincorporated areas such as Ramona, Julian and Santa Ysabel, or contract cities of San Diego, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Solana Beach, Del Mar and Santee, according to the county.

Pet microchips will cost $20, which includes the registration. Rabies vaccines for dogs of four months and older and cats three months and older are $6. Dog owners who have not licensed their pet or allowed its annual license to lapse will be granted amnesty from late fees, county officials said.

Spay/neuter discount coupons will be $100 for female cats, female pit bulls and mixes and chihuahuas; and $75 for all females of other breeds and male dogs and cats, officials said.

County officials said dogs visiting the clinic must be leashed and cats must be in a carrier.

   
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