It is one minute to midnight for dog and cat owners in Montreal and Laval. Microchipping and sterilization of their animal will be mandatory as of Jan. 1, with a few exceptions.

Microchip implants make it possible to identify a lost animal and to quickly notify its owner. In addition, the device cannot be lost and accompanies the animal all its life, unlike tags.

It is a capsule – the size of a grain of rice – inserted under the skin of the animal which contains a computer chip with an associated serial number in a computer system with the owner’s contact details.

“Veterinarians have access to the data in the file instantly, thus avoiding overloading shelters and carrying out avoidable euthanasias,” notes the City of Montreal on its website.

“The microchip helps relieve the great stress experienced by people who have lost their companion much more quickly,” said Montreal SPCA spokesperson Anita Kapuscinska.

According to the Association des médecins vétérinaires du Québec (AMVQ), microchipping costs about $70 in a veterinary clinic. It is $45 at the Montreal SPCA and the price is generally even lower when the municipalities organize microchip clinics.

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