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Gregory's Gift of Hope will host microchip clinic Saturday

Capone watches the action at Gregory’s. The rescue will be holding a chip event at the Hudson Chuck and Don’s. (Submitted photo)

Gregory’s Gift of Hope Animal Rescue is working to make it easier to unite owners with lost pets. The rescue is hosting a microchip clinic at the Hudson Chuck and Don’s on Sept. 24 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

As a rescue, Gregory’s Gift of Hope knows how important chips are. According to a 2009 study in the Journal of American Veterinary Medical Association, dogs with microchips were returned about 52 percent of the time, while those without were returned only about 21 percent of the time. Cats without chips were returned less than 2 percent of the time, while those with chips were returned more 38 percent.

“We get so many animals that come in here and of course the first thing we do is look for a chip, and honestly, people don’t do it,” Director Colleen O’Shaughnessy said.

O’Shaughnessy said she hears the biggest reason owners do not get chips is the cost. To offset that, the event costs $15 for the chip and ID tags, a $45 value.

“We thought we’re going to give back to try to get as many people as we can,” she said.

O’Shaughnessy said lost pets is a common problem, and it’s all too easy for them to make a quick escape, even when they’re taken care of and well-loved.

“Things happen, I mean my own cat has slipped out the door,” she said. “It doesn’t matter how well a dog is trained, there’s still a chance they’re going to run.”

And if they do, chips are just an extra way to get them back.

“That’s what our main goal is, to make it more convenient and affordable for people, and to make people realize this is a huge problem right now,” O’Shaughnessy said.

The event will also serve to educate pet owners on microchips.

This is why we’re doing this and this is why we think that all pets should have them,” O’Shaughnessy said. “It’s a means of keeping pets safe and also reuniting with their families.”

Knowing the benefits, Gregory’s rescue microchips all of its animals, as do many other rescues, O’Shaughnessy said. Ideally, she said she’d like chipping to be the law. O’Shaughnessy said this would not only help to find lost pets, but to hold people who abandon their pets responsible.

“It’s kind of twofold, we want it for the safety piece and to be able to reunite pets, but also we want it to be able to track down individuals who decide this is the way to discard their pet,” she said.

Gregory’s Gift of Hope works with Chuck and Don’s to host adoption events twice a month, and O’Shaughnessy said the chip clinic will become a regular event as well.

“It’s something that we’ll continue to do because it is an important piece in our work,” she said.

Gregory’s Gift of Hope Animal Rescue was founded in 2004. O’Shaughnessy started the organization as a boarding company, and things took off from there.

“Because I’m an animal lover and people knew me they just kind of started calling us,” she said. “It just fell into place.”

The boarding business funds the rescue, but is currently shut down due to an outbreak of canine brucellosis.

Though the rescue is in need of help from the community, O’Shaughnessy said she still wanted to hold this event to give aid to the community.

“We really believe in it,” she said. “We just need a bigger support base.”