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.
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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.
"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.
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