Before euthanasia, scan for microchip ownership

You've spent time and money having your pet microchipped. Your animal will return safely to you if somebody finds them, right? Sadly, it's not always so......
Thousands of animals have been and are still being put to sleep in shelters and veterinary offices needlessly. Not all animal professionals are checking for microchip ownership information before they euthanize a pet since it's not a law or state requirement. 

For example, this two year old cocker spaniel named Scout was saved from shelter death by my group Shelter Cocker Rescue in Southern California. I adopted him out and then a few months later his new owner put him to sleep - never telling me that she was doing this terrible thing.

The vet didn't scan the boy for a microchip either. Had they done that, they would have seen that he was microchipped to my rescue group. I would have taken him back into my organization.  Scout would still be alive today.

Our goal is to have every veterinarian and animal care professional scan a pet and establish proper ownership before they euthanize it. Someone could have stolen an animal; it could be microchipped to a rescue group that it was adopted from; or its owner could still be trying to find it. 

In Southern California, about 95% of the animals in our shelters are strays - suggesting that their real owner might still be searching for their pet.

Rescue groups will almost always take back "their" animal. When you adopt from a rescue group, you sign a legal contract.  It usually states that if you don't want the pet, you're required by your binding contract to call the rescue group.  Before you take other actions such as bringing the pet back to a shelter or having it euthanized, read your contract and call the rescue group first. 

When bringing a new pet from a rescue group into a vet's office, have their staff put a sticker or notation on the outside of your pet's folder with the rescue's phone numbers on it.  This way the vet staff can easily see that the animal might be microchipped to someone else.

Vets - before you put a pet to sleep, scan it.  Ask your client if they adopted it from a rescue group.  A large number of animals have been and are still being put to sleep needlessly.  They could have gotten a new home with their original rescue groups, or they might legally belong to someone other than your client. 

There are some people who steal animals; others who purposely let them out of their neighbor's backyards because they're annoying them; and owners who allow their pets to run in the streets. They're hoping that another person will take over the pet's care.  Whoever brings an animal to a vet's office could very well not be the real owner of the pet.

Veterinary actions to get to the bottom of who the real owner of that animal is will definitely make the difference between life or death for the pet.

Signatures from this petition will be presented to veterinary boards and state legislators. 

The second step in this process will be another specific petition, urging California residents to sign a new petition, which I am presenting as "Scout's Law." 

This "law" requires that before euthanasia, all animal professionals are required to scan an animal for a microchip; then telephone the registered owner of the microchip.  Next, they will give that person a required amount of time to come and get their animal or sign a form giving the vet permission to euthanize their pet. 

This time would of course be shortened should the animal be enduring life-threatening pain.

We'd greatly appreciate a donation (of any amount) towards our public relations and marketing costs to get "Scout's Law" passed as soon as possible.  We can reach many more people using your donation, as we communicate our endeavor and message.  Our fundraising goal for this action is $500.

We're going to send out press releases and customized stories over newswire networks, and travel to meet with people that will get this legislation passed.  We don't want even one more pet to pay with its life just because an animal professional won't scan them and phone their true owner.

Please send contributions in memory of poor Scout to his PayPal memorial account:

Check or money order donations can be mailed to:

Shelter Cocker Rescue
1776 Medinah Road
San Marcos, CA  92069
Once we get this legislation through, no other animal will suffer like Scout did by losing their life needlessly.  A scanning procedure that takes only a few seconds and a phone call to the microchip company and to the owner should have saved so many pet lives already. The purpose of people spending money on a microchip is to ensure that their pet is returned, not put to sleep!

The two major microchipping companies in the US are: Home Again and Avid.  Their web sites are: and

Yearly costs to register your information to the pet's microchip are $14.99 for Home Again and $18.50 for Avid. It's a small amount to make sure that they can return safely to you should they leave home.

If your pet is already microchipped, please ensure that your personal information associated with its chip is current. 

Please send me an e-mail to let me know how you found out about this petition. My e-mail address is:

Thank you!
Laura Madaras
Director of Shelter Cocker Rescue

Owner of Madaras Communications

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