The case for microchipping KC pets (and a special deal)

Bandit the dog, tag and collar removed for a bath, bolts out a door into the cruel world and star status.

So starts a video played Wednesday for the city council’s public safety committee.

Lost dog signs go up, Bandit runs through a graveyard and is next shown living hard in a cardboard box.

The message: thousands of lost pets never make it back to their owners each year and that does not have to happen.

Now Spay and Neuter Kansas City and city officials have teamed up for project T.L.C. – Tag, License and Chip.

For $30, Spay and Neuter will provide a pet with a rabies shot, a city license and a microchip. The chip about the size of a grain of rice is shot in and provides a number that goes on a registry. A wand can read the number.

“It’s a tag that never goes away,” said Whitney Mathis, a manager with Spay and Neuter Kansas City.

For $10 more, the group will also provide the dog or cat with all its shots besides rabies.

The deal can be done at the Spay and Neuter main site at 1116 E. 59th Street (59th and Troost) or at its walk in clinics.

Most people don’t even get pet licenses. Officials say fewer than 17 percent of dogs and 3 percent of cats have current licenses. It generally costs about $15 for a rabies shot and $10 for a one-year license.

The licensing money goes to supply treatment and care of animals at the city shelter but more than money is involved.

The shelter last year returned 955 animals to their owners, often thanks to tags or microchips, said Brent Toellner, president of the board of the Pet Project, which runs the shelter.

He reported to the council committee that the shelter took in 7,600 animals last year, about 1,000 more than 2011. The intake for dogs and cats was up13 percent.

Bandit would not like it there.

The aging shelter is too small and outdated, Toellner reported, which came as no surprise to the council members. It was built in 1972 and originally crammed dogs and cats right next to each other.

Councilman John Sharp said, “We all realize the shelter has outlasted its useful life and is too small for a community of our size.”

Voters will have to approve an upgrade, Sharp said, but as for the T.L.C. program, “This is a great deal for this cost, super.”

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