For residents who missed out on their opportunity to pick up some dog or cat food and get their pet microchipped, all at no charge, they’ll have another chance this Sunday in DeLand. Hosted by Volusia County Animal Services, the free community event is county government’s way of offering a helping hand to pet owners who are struggling financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The coronavirus is impacting our entire community, and pet owners are no exception,” said Volusia County Animal Services Director Adam Leath. “We’re pleased that we can offer some relief and be a resource to assist our residents during these difficult times.”
With the support of the ASPCA®, this is the second community event that Animal Services has hosted. The first one last month in Daytona Beach was a huge success, resulting in the distribution of 398 bags of pet food and the microchipping of 388 pets.
This Sunday’s event will take place at the Volusia County Fairgrounds at 3150 E. New York Ave. from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., or until supplies last. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals donated approximately $10,500 worth of pet food for the event.
For convenience and social distancing, Sunday’s event will feature drive-thru service. While residents won’t have to get out of their vehicle, they are asked to wear a face covering.
There will be two drive-up lines – one just for pet food and the other for both food and a microchip. The food will be loaded into the vehicles for residents. If they’re also there to get a pet microchipped, county staff will remove the pet from the vehicle and take it into the on-site facility for the quick and painless procedure.
Just a few minutes later, and the pet will be brought back out to the owner’s vehicle. To expedite the process, those who are planning to get a pet microchipped are asked to print out the consent form and fill it out before they arrive on Sunday.
For easy access, here's a link to the microchip registration form for Sunday's event.
Microchips are about the size of a grain of rice and are implanted just under the skin. With the wave of a hand-held wand over the pet’s back, the ID code on the microchip will lead to the owner’s name and contact information – significantly increasing the odds of a happy reunion with pets that get lost or separated from their home and are later found wandering.
“Pets get separated from their families all the time, causing stress to both pet and owner,” said Leath. “We want to do our best to make sure all lost pets get returned home safely. A microchip is one of the best ways to make sure that happens.”
- Volusia County Community Information Gary Davidson