HOUSTON – It is Houston law to get your pet microchipped, but for different reasons, not all pets are microchipped. One Houston man said not getting his dog microchipped is his biggest regret.
In cell phone video, you can see dog Rose, affectionately known as “Rosie,” sitting on Chase Maegden’s lap.
These are the moments Chase misses the most.
“She was a rescue. I found her. Tried to find her owner. She wasn’t microchipped. When I took her to the vets, I got her shots and everything,” explained Chase.
But one thing Chase did not do was get Rosie microchipped.
“I never knew how much it cost. I assumed it was expensive and she is always with me. We are always in tow. If she can’t come, I am not going,” explained Chase.
One night Chase was heading home with Rosie in tow.
“I was in an accident exiting 288 at Yellowstone and my vehicle flipped and when they cut me out of the car, my dog was riding with me, a little white chihuahua named Rose, and she ran from the wreck. I tried to look for her initially, and they wouldn’t let me keep searching for her,” Chase said. “They had to take me in the ambulance.”
Tama Lundquist is the Houston Pet Set co-president.
“Ninety percent of households in America consider a pet a family member, so how great would it be to have those first responders trained to think about going into a situation like that? We partner with THLN, which is Texas Humane Legislative Network, and they have come to Houston with the invitation from Houston Pet Set and some support from Houston Pet Set to train law enforcement officers about bills that have been passed into law, and these law enforcement officers now know what these laws are,” Lundquist said.
The law went into effect in 2022. It states anyone who owns, keeps, possesses, or has control of a dog or cat four months of age or older must have his or her pet registered, vaccinated against rabies every year, and a registered microchip. As of Feb. 1 of this year, the city has been enforcing the law.
“It is a way for the shelters to reduce the number of intakes, because if you don’t have a microchip, the chances of you getting that dog back, I think, are 5% without a microchip,” Lundquist explained.
Chase was released and recovered from the crash, but his heart remains broken as Rosie has never been found.
BARC is microchipping year-round at $15 per animal. The shelter is offering free microchipping with your pet’s wellness appointment now through May 15.
Montgomery County offers free microchipping all year long. Check with your city or county as different municipalities and organizations will host free microchipping events throughout the year. Pet owners who do not comply with this law can face a fine of up to $500.
For City of Houston residents, Houston PetSet offers free microchipping along with free spay/neuter and vaccines with a $20 deposit. Click here to learn more.