Driving through the fascinating city of Baldwin Park today, I noticed that at least six fireworks stands had been hastily built to peddle explosives for the rapidly approaching 4th of July holiday. For the next two weeks Baldwin Park, La Puente, Azusa, El Monte and several other nearby cities are going to resemble Damascus at night with loud explosions from dawn to dusk. Unfortunately a great number of these cities’ residents leave their pets outside at night, with no identification on their collars (if they have collars at all!) and only a few of these pets are microchipped – and of the few that are microchipped many of the owners have not kept their registrations current. The result is that every day during fireworks season the Baldwin Park shelter impounds scores of frightened animals and those are just the lucky ones. The number of dead dogs and cats in the roads is appalling and the number of profoundly injured animals coming into the shelter urgently in need of care is tragic.
Equally appalling is the fact that because the Baldwin Park Shelter is down to two working microchip scanners, neither of which is kept at the intake window, the Baldwin Park Shelter does not have the ability to scan incoming pets on impound. Microchips are often not discovered for two weeks, as in the case of Anton, A4588204, who sat in the kennels for two weeks before a potential adopter tried to adopt him and the microchip was located. Within hours he was reunited with his family. I personally have tried to rescue five pets in the last two weeks only to discover that the shelter located a microchip as they were readying the dog for release.
If a microchip is found, the pet must be held for ten days from the date on which the shelter sends a letter to the owner. This takes up space that could be used for other dogs who were instead euthanized for lack of space.
A Universal Microchip scanner, capable of scanning all brands of microchip, costs $340 retail. We urge the DACC to examine their budget priorities and allocate funds to where they are most needed and will be most useful. If the DACC’s management cannot find the money, we are sure that we could make many welcome suggestions on whose salaries or positions could be eliminated to make room in the budget for things which are actually useful and help the animals!