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Microchip Bill Could Reunite Owners with Lost Rovers and Fidos, While Saving Shelters Cash

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When San Diego assemblyman Ben Hueso lost his dog, he couldn't find him at any of the local animal shelters for weeks.

It turns out the dog had turned up at a shelter all the way in Fresno. Lucky for Hueso, he had a small microchip implanted into the dog, so the Fresno shelter was able to scan the dog and reunite him with Hueso.

Lawmakers have sent Governor Jerry Brown (and his corgi Sutter Brown) a bill that would require all cats and dogs that are adopted or reclaimed at shelters to be implanted with this microchip.

The pluses for owners are obvious: those microchips would help lost animals, like Hueso's, become reunited with their owners more easily.

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And that will be good for shelters, too, which are often crowded with lost pets, according to Sen. Ted Lieu, the South Bay representative who is sponsoring the bill.

He said shelters in California impound more than 1 million dogs and cats — and then euthanize more than half of these animals who are not reunited with their owners.

"Our hope is to get more animals home right away instead of filling up cage space," said Judie Mancuso whose animal welfare organization, Social Compassion in Legislation, sponsored the bill.