Microchipping

Microchipping in San Antonio

On April 30, 2015, the San Antonio City Council unanimously approved a new pet licensing program.

An ordinance amendment was approved making a registered microchip the primary means of licensing for pets living within the San Antonio city limits.

Owners whose pets have a current City license will be in compliance until those licenses expire, at which point, their pet must have a registered microchip. If your pet’s license is already expired, you will be unable to purchase a new City license; instead you will need to have your pet microchipped at an animal hospital or clinic. The new ordinance went into effect for enforcement on June 30, 2015.

New Microchip Law Key Points

  • All dogs, cats, ferrets residing in San Antonio city limits must have a registered microchip.
  • Registered microchip must show current ownership information including:
    • Owner name, address, phone number (if available) and the description of the pet
    • A current city license shall continue to be valid until its expiration
    • An annual permit shall be required (in addition to a registered microchip) for pets deemed as aggressive or dangerous
    • The owner of the pet is responsible for ensuring that the microchip is registered with current information
    • If there is a change in pet ownership, the previous and the current owner are both responsible for ensuring the microchip is updated with new owner’s information
  • Dogs MUST wear a tag with the registered microchip number at all times while outdoors.
  • Microchips generally come with a tag from the microchip company with pet’s respective microchip number engraved on it. If that tag is lost or misplaced, any tag with the microchip number associated with that pet worn on the pet’s collar or harness will be considered in compliance with the law. For example, if a pet’s official tag from the microchip company is lost or misplaced, an owner may go to any local pet store to purchase a tag and have it engraved with the pet’s microchip number for a low-cost.
  • All dogs and cats of an owner must have registered microchips prior to the City issuing an excess animal permit.
  • Exemptions to a registered microchip include:
    • A non-resident to the City but keeping the pet in the City for fewer than 60 days.
    • Owner has been a resident of the City fewer than 30 days.
    • Pet has been abandoned or lost and the temporary owner has had the pet fewer than 30 days.
    • Medical exemption from licensed veterinarian

What is a microchip?

A microchip is a tiny (about the size of a grain of rice) implant that is injected under the skin. For dogs and cats, this microchip carries an ID number that is specific to your pet. Once your pet is microchipped, that number is entered into a national database with your information. If they happen to get lost, any shelter or veterinary clinic can scan your pet, see that ID number, look it up in the database and call you. Your pet can get back to you faster- all with one quick injection.

Microchipping is permanent identification- your pet only has to be microchipped once and it lasts their lifetime. It only takes 5 minutes to do, and doesn’t require any anesthesia.

Does your pet need a microchip? If so, contact your local vet, animal shelter, spay-neuter clinic or Animal Care Services.

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