All pets in the city of Houston must be microchipped, starting Feb. 1; Here’s how to get it done for free

Pet owners who don’t comply can face a fine of up to $500.

HOUSTON – All pet owners living in the city of Houston are required to have their pets microchipped, starting Wednesday, Feb. 1.

Deputy shelter director at BARC Houston, Cory Stottlemyer, spoke to KPRC 2 about the ordinance and the upcoming free events their organization is hosting.

Pet owners living in Houston have previously been required to register pets with the city and have proof that their animals are vaccinated against rabies. Now, that registration also requires proof that your pet is microchipped.

Stottlemyer says it’s vital in getting lost pets back home.

“If they’re microchipped, we can reunite them directly with you. They never have to come to the shelter, they never have to take up kennel space,” Stottlemyer says. “That frees up space here at the shelter to take in strays that aren’t owned. So, if a pet is owned and microchipped, it can be reunited with their owner without ever having to come here.”

BARC officials continue to encourage Houstonians to come into compliance as the ordinance takes effect.

They say microchipping is fast and easy.

“It’s small. It’s the size of a grain of rice. We insert it right between the shoulder blades. It’s a quick pinch,” Stottlemyer added.

Pet owners who don’t comply can face a fine of up to $500.

BARC offers low-cost microchipping year-round at $15 per animal but you can get your pet microchipped for free at this event.

Staffers also ask that you keep your contact information up to date. That includes your phone number and address so that if your pet gets lost, BARC can find you and get your animal home safely.

On Monday, Feb. 6, and Tuesday, Feb. 7, there are drive-thru events from 8 a.m. through 10 a.m. at BARC’s adoption center on 3300 Carr Street in Houston. You must bring proof that you live in the city of Houston.

The limit is three dogs and three cats per family.

About the Authors:

Moriah Ballard joined the KPRC 2 digital team in the fall of 2021. Prior to becoming a digital content producer in Southeast Texas and a Houstonian, Moriah was an award-winning radio host in her hometown of Lorain, Ohio and previously worked as a producer/content creator in Cleveland. Her faith, family, and community are her top passions.