ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A city councilor is pushing for a new law that will affect virtually every pet owner in Albuquerque. She wants to make it a law to microchip every dog and cat.
Right now, people in Albuquerque are supposed to be getting licenses for their pets every year. That would become a thing of the past.
Animal Welfare says their goal is to get as many animals in the community microchipped as they can. The department says it’s more efficient and 80% of pet owners aren’t getting their animals licensed.
A new ordinance being presented by City Councilor Diane Gibson calls for doing away with the licensing system and making microchipping mandatory.
Lost animals that end up in the shelters would be microchipped before their owners can take them home. That would even apply to pet owners who live outside Albuquerque whose animals end up in city shelters.
“If you lose a dog a microchip could help you get it back, help people find their owners. I’ve heard stories of animals found in New Mexico and actually their owners are in Colorado. They get them reconnected; very happy owner, very happy animal,” says pet owner Tom Baumgartel.
The city would lose out on the $300,000 it does collect for licenses, but that money basically only pays for an out of state company to run the licensing program anyhow. Those pet licenses cost $6 a year. The city does offer free and low-cost microchipping.
Councilor Diane Gibson says she wrote the bill in cooperation with the Animal Welfare Department. The mayor is in favor of the idea, as he said so way back in April.