It was a dog’s world at Clover Park on a Saturday morning, as people lined up to get free microchip implants for their pets, shopped for pet goodies, and groomed their furry friends for contests at the Santa Monica Pet Fair and Chip-A-Thon, presented by the American Red Cross, Santa Monica Organizations Active in Disaster, and the City of Santa Monica.
While all kinds of pets were welcome (on leashes or in containers), the attending animals were largely canines of all sizes, breeds, and temperaments. Some kittens were on display at booths offering pet adoptions from Los Angeles County, City of Los Angeles, City of Santa Monica, and SEAACA, a private pet adoption center in Downey.
The microchip service, courtesy of FoundAnimals and AVID (maker of the chip), was so popular that the first contest (Pet Obedience) had to be postponed. Jennifer Brent of FoundAnimals explained the process to the Mirror:
“The chip is smaller than a grain of rice. It’s inserted between the shoulder blades. The process can be done with dogs, cats, birds, horses-any animal. The chip has a number, like a Social Security number, that can be read by a scanner. That way, if a lost animal is found and taken to a shelter, the shelter can scan the animal and read the number. There are some amazing stories of animals that have been recovered this way.”
The usual cost of chipping is $20 plus $13 for registration.
Vendors at the Pet Fair displayed the latest products for happier pets. The Pet Loo’s “Backyard in a Box” was a flat box with grass growing over a permeable rubber mat, which in turn covered a container. A pet can relieve him/herself in the box and the results can later be emptied from the container. There are versions for both dogs and cats (average cost $239.99) plus cleaning and deodorizing products. (thepetloo.com).
Brian Brahms, at Got Pet Food, explained that he sells organic pet food for dogs and cats. “Four or five pound bags cost from $11.99 to $20.99. A single can costs from 89 cents to $1.65-they vary by size and ingredients.” Got Pet Food also does home deliveries, with no charge for first time customers. (gotpetfood.com).
Booths also advertised attorney Jane Beaumont Hall (janebhall.com) who specializes in pet trusts (appointing a caregiver to care for a pet in the event of the owner’s demise), PAWS/LA (organization that provides guide and companion animals to the elderly and handicapped), and Bark-Williams, provider of animal massage therapy (2901 Ocean Park Boulevard, barkwilliams.com).
Dogs were seen socializing, nuzzling muzzles and butts, and were generally quite well-behaved, despite the long wait for the microchipping. The kittens mostly slept, but those who were awake enjoyed the attention they received from cat-lovers.
This reporter watched as a dog was held carefully by its owner and a FoundAnimals volunteer inserted a hypodermic needle into its back. The dog gave one little squeal and then it was time for the hugs and consolation. Good doggie!