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Civic Impact

Chip Truck rolls out animal services across the GTA

Toronto Animal Services kicked off their Chip Truck program’s fifth year last week. Mary Lou Leiher, Program Manager with Animal Services, said that, despite the rain, about twenty cats and dogs were chipped, vaccinated against rabies, or registered with the city. As the Chip Truck makes its way around Toronto in the coming months, subsequent events could see nearly 100 animals per event.

“It’s a way to make it easy for people. We’re putting it out in their community,” says Leiher.  “Traditionally, we’d have people come into the shelter to get chipped, but us going out into the community is much more convenient for people.” Animal Services also offers a rabies vaccine, which, in the face of the rabies outbreak among Hamilton raccoons this year, has become even more important.

Dogs must be leashed and cats must be contained in a carrier to be eligible for Chip Truck service. Animals that are licensed with the City of Toronto can receive a chip and rabies vaccine for ten dollars; a license, shot, and chip costs thirty-five dollars for dogs and twenty-five for cats. “We’re a very affordable option,” says Leiher. She stresses that animals and owners do not need to live in Toronto to use the Chip Truck, and that no appointment is necessary.

The Chip Truck is currently scheduled for three more stops between now and October, but Leiher encourages people to check their website for additional dates and locations. Animal Services chooses locations based on need, and where the community may not have access to veterinary services for their dogs and cats. “We try to move it around and try to make sure that everyone is close to a Chip Truck event at some point,” she says. “We also encourage people to develop a relation with a vet, but not everyone is able to do that. The segment of the population that doesn’t have a veterinarian for their pet, that’s the segment that we impact the most. It helps to enhance the bond that they have with their pet, and that’s what this is all about.”
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