Special to the Times-Record
Rayma Fiegen and recently adopted cat Mimi, show Barnes County Sheriff Randy McClaflin and Valley City Police Chief Fred Thompson how the new HomeAgain microchip scanner works as Sarah Hass looks on.
The Sheyenne Valley Friends of Animals has donated a HomeAgain microchip scanner to the Valley City Police Department and the Barnes County Sheriffâ€™s Department. This will assist the two departments when called on animals that are found to see if the animal has been microchipped, hopefully reuniting them with their ownears quickly.
Sheriff Randy said Friday â€śIt will definitely help the owners (of stray pets), and we wonâ€™t have to take them (stray animals) to the poundâ€ť if owners are easily located and they can pick up their strays at the the sheriffâ€™s department.
â€śIt (having the scanner) will hopefully save some money (for pet owners) and return them home faster,â€ť the sheriff said.
The HomeAgain program is available through the Valley City Veterinary Hospital and is provided by the SVFA. HomeAgain microchips are small, about the size of a grain of rice, and contain a number that can be linked to the HomeAgain database. Many animals in the Sheyenne Valley, including all animals adopted out though SVFA, are microchipped.
Microchipping has been proven to reunite animals who wander or who are lost with their owners.
McClaflin said, â€śWe do get quite a few stray animals (in Barnes County).â€ť He speculated pet owners will also be able to bring their pets into the Sheriffâ€™s Department to make certain chips embedded in their animals are working properly.
Valley City dogs must be licensed, but licenses are not required elsewhere in Barnes County, McClaflin said. By being able to scan stray animalsâ€™ chips, â€śit will allow us to be more helpfulâ€ť to owners of lost animals, the sheriff said.
This donation is just one of the many projects that SVFA has worked on since starting in 2007. Other projects include raising funds for the Valley City Dog Park including fencing, benches, garbage cans, bag dispensers and a bulletin board. They also purchased dog waste bag dispensers for area parks and walking paths. They have given presentations to local schools regarding animal care and safety. SVFA has also donated pet oxygen masks to the Valley City Fire Department and Barnes County Ambulance.
McClaflin said the SVFA organization â€śdonated the scanner because they want us to be able to handle lost pets easier.â€ť
Law enforcement dispatcher Andrea Suhr said Friday afternoon she just recently received instructions for operating the scanner. â€śI think itâ€™s a good idea,â€ť Suhr said.
The SVFA assists hundreds of animals and owners every year. Last year alone, it assisted over 130 animals which included 28 adoptions. SVFA currently has a number of animals up for adoption. If you are looking to adopt or foster or would like more information on the Sheyenne Valley Friends of Animals, you can contact them at 701-840-5047, email@example.com, www.svfanimals.org, or find them on Facebook, Petfinder.com and Adopt-a-pet.com.