Close to 1,000 pets were implanted with microchips on Sunday in a city-wide campaign to sensitise owners to the technology and to their obligation to have permits for their pets.

Twenty-eight veterinary clinics across 19 boroughs offered $20 for the microchip implant, instead of the usual $75, but only for those who have a pet permit.

The city had hoped to implant 1,500 pets.

Microchip implants are about the size of a grain of rice, and are recorded with the owner's information, which can be scanned with a radio device. They allow animals to be more quickly identified in a shelter in case they get lost or stolen, and can avoid unnecessary euthanization, the city said in a statement.

pet microchip implant

A microchip, about the size of a grain of rice, contains information about the pet and the owner's contact number. (Radio-Canada)

"I saw an ad in the paper that the city was doing this and signed up," said Souling Chan, who brought her 8-month old goldendoodle to get implanted. "It's an intelligent thing to do. If you love your dog, it's great."

A microchip needs to be implanted once in the animal's life.

According to the City of Montreal, only 14 per cent of dogs and 4 per cent of cats in the city have a valid permit.

Dog permits are mandatory in all 19 boroughs, and cat permits in 11 boroughs.

"There's probably a lack of awareness of why people should register their pets," said Christine Carle, veterinarian and owner of the Victoria animal clinic group. "It might be perceived as a tax that isn't good for anything. But it's for animal control," she said.

dog microchip implant injection

A dog gets injected with a microchip implant. (Radio-Canada)

Montreal pets by the numbers

  • 145,000: dog population
  • 330,000: cat population
  • 3,600: dogs admitted to a shelter in 2014
  • 13,400: cats admitted to a shelter in 2014
  • 7%: pets in a shelter that are reclaimed by the owner
  • 46%: pets in a shelter that are adopted
  • 47%: pets in a shelter that are put down

Source: City of Montreal