The following letter by Becky Robinson was sent in response to Texas legislature’s consideration of H.B. 204 on a bill requiring animal shelters and releasing agencies, including rescues, to scan an animal in their custody for a microchip “as soon as practicable.”


May 7, 2021

Senator Paul Bettencourt, Chair
Senate Committee on Local Government
Texas Legislature
P.O. Box 12068
Capital Station
Austin, Texas 78711

Dear Chair Bettencourt, Vice Chair Menéndez, and Committee Members:

On behalf of Alley Cat Allies and our over 650,000 supporters, I am writing to urge you to support H.B. 604, An Act Relating to a Microchip Scan of Animals in the Custody of an Animal Shelter or Releasing Agency, Including an Animal Rescue Organization. If enacted into law, H.B. 604 would require an animal to be scanned for a microchip “as soon as practicable” after a shelter or releasing agency takes custody of the animal.

Alley Cat Allies is the global engine of change for cats. We protect and improve cats’ lives through our innovative, cutting-edge programs. We are seen around the world as a champion for the humane treatment of all cats. Founded in 1990, today Alley Cat Allies helps tens of thousands of individuals, communities, and organizations save and improve the lives of millions of cats and kittens worldwide.

Microchips can save an animals’ life. IF agencies SCAN for them.

Microchips can reunite lost pets with their owners and community cats with their caregivers and/or colonies—a group of cats who are bonded and live together outdoors. Research shows microchipped cats are reunited with their family 38.5 percent of the time, compared to just 1.8 percent of the time if not microchipped.

Plus, microchips are a permanent ID tag—a single microchip can last a cat’s full lifespan. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) agrees that microchips are crucial to identifying animals and returning them to owners and caregivers.

Cats are increasingly being microchipped. This includes cats who live with people, and travel or move to new locations with them. But microchips also benefit community cats—unowned cats who live outdoors—who have been part of a Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program. During TNR, a community cat is humanely trapped, spayed or neutered, vaccinated, eartipped for identification, and returned to her outdoor home.

Public and private animal shelters are trusted in their communities to help reunite lost, stray, or stolen animals with their owners or caregivers. Unfortunately, since the state does not require the scanning of microchips, these reunions are very difficult to achieve. Your support of a bill that requires all companion animals to be scanned for a microchip immediately upon admission and before any final disposition will demonstrate to your constituents that returning animals to their homes is a priority.

We urge you to support H.B. 604 on behalf of our supporters, your constituents, and Texas’ animals. Thank you for supporting this important bill.

Sincerely,

Becky Robinson

President & Founder, Alley Cat Allies

 

cc: Chair Paul Bettencourt
Vice Chair José Menéndez
Senator Sarah Eckhardt
Senator Roland Gutierrez
Senator Bob Hall
Senator Robert Nichols
Senator Angela Paxton
Senator Drew Springer
Senator Judith Zaffirini