East Bay SPCA, Oakland Animal Control Voice Disapproval of New Pet Microchips Offered by Banfield Vet Hospitals and PetSmart

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New microchips add complications to the already difficult task of returning pets to their owners.

The East Bay SPCA, representing two Animal Shelters in Alameda County, has joined forces with Oakland Animal Services in rejecting claims that these three shelters scan for the new “ISO” chip offered by Banfield Pet Hospitals through its PetSmart pet stores.

East Bay SPCA and OAS has learned that PetSmart stores across Alameda County have been representing that these newer chips are read by Oakland SPCA, Tri-Valley SPCA and Oakland Animal Services, but they are not. East Bay SPCA says that they have not been provided scanners by Banfield, and have not been contacted by them to discuss obtaining scanners.

The new microchip originated in Europe, and was introduced in the United States by Banfield this year. Banfield is the on-site pet hospital associated with PetSmart pet stores across the Bay Area. The main concern is compatibility. “The pet community began adopting microchips with a common frequency of 125 kilohertz. Ten years later, nearly 100% of the dogs and cats in our county that have microchips have chips with this frequency, and this is what shelters like ours scan for. It has led to the return of thousands of pets, saving lives and reducing costs at our shelters,” says Glenn Howell, Director of Oakland Animal Services.

“What Banfield has done,” adds Gary Templin, president of the East Bay SPCA, “is introduce a chip that cannot be read by us or by any of the facilities we work with. The existing scanners don’t even register that the animal has a chip. We are appalled that an organization concerned with pet welfare would do this, without ensuring that our ability to read the chips was in place first. This is clearly not about doing what is best for lost dogs and cats in our community. We strongly prefer one frequency and one scanner, even with multiple chip providers, because that is what is best for owners and their animals.”

The East Bay SPCA began offering one brand of microchips to owners of newly adopted animals in February, but their scanners and the scanners used by OAS read all microchips that use the same frequency adopted with the U.S. microchips.

The East Bay SPCA includes two shelters and three clinics in Alameda County, including the Oakland SPCA and Tri-Valley SPCA, in Dublin, CA. Founded in 1874, the East Bay SPCA is dedicated to finding a responsible, loving home for every adoptable dog and cat in our community. The East Bay SPCA is non-profit organization and receives no government funding. To reach our Adoption Centers, call (510) 569-0702 or (925) 479-9670.

The Oakland Animal Shelter and Animal Control Field Services, a division of the Oakland Police Department, is responsible for the welfare of all animals in Oakland and for promoting the health and safety of animals and people in the community. Oakland Animal Services can be reached at 510-535-5605.

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