Vegas to require pets be chipped

Vegas to require pets be chipped

October 19, 2023

Getty Images - Las Vegas dog and cat owners will soon be required to microchip their pets.

Las Vegas Review-Journal
By Ricardo Torres-Cortez

City OK’s measure to begin in August

Las Vegas dog and cat owners will be required to microchip their pets starting next August. The City Council voted unanimously on Wednesday to approve the measure, which will be a condition of obtaining an already-mandated pet license. A chip, which is injected into the animals — and is the size of a grain of rice — contains the pet’s date of birth, its breeder and contact information, according to the city and the American Veterinary Medical Association.

“Among other things, the microchipping requirement will help reunite lost pets with their owners in a more timely and predictable fashion, as well as helping to reduce overcrowding and strain on shelters and rescue organizations,” read the city’s agenda item, sponsored by Councilman Cedric Crear. Not complying with the microchipping requirement can lead to a misdemeanor citation, reversible by complying in a timely manner thereafter. All dogs and cats over 4 months old within Las Vegas city limits must be licensed.

Yearly fees cost anywhere from $5 to $25, with service animal owners not required to pay. About 7,000 pets were newly licensed in 2022, and more than 14,000 had their licenses renewed, according to city data, which noted that the city last year raised about $230,000 in fees. It is not clear how many pets live in the city, which has a human population of 656,300.

The policy change arrived as the nonprofit Animal Foundation shelter, which is contracted by Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, and Clark County, has struggled with staffing shortages, resignations, and allegations of delayed animal intakes. North Las Vegas mandates pet licensing, but not microchipping, and Clark County requires microchipping, but not licensing. Henderson runs its own shelter, and like Las Vegas, demands that pet owners microchip and license their animals.

Contact Ricardo Torres-Cortez at Follow @rickytwrites on Twitter.