‘Chipping’ in for Jerusalem

One of the aspects of Nutmeg of which we’re most proud is our ongoing commitment to the locations we visit around the globe. Long after we’ve left any particular place, we maintain contact as frequently as possible with our friends and partners in the global animal welfare community to continue providing assistance in those afflicted areas.

Jerusalem is one such example.

We’re doing our best to help them build a new, modern facility there in the Holy Land, but such ambitious projects take time. Good news, though! Our Israeli friends tell us they’ve identified two parcels of land in Jerusalem that city leaders agree could best serve as the location of any new animal shelter. Studies are now being undertaken to determine which one will eventually be selected. That’s a tremendously encouraging step forward!

In the meantime, Nutmeg promised to keep providing support whenever and however possible to the JSPCA, Jerusalem’s leading animal welfare organization. Our partners there recently told us they could really use some upgraded technology, and Nutmeg was happy to step in to help.

In Israel, as is the case in several other countries (including some communities in the U.S.), laws dictate that pet owners have their animals implanted with tiny microchips – about the size of a grain of rice – that contain the owner’s contact information, a unique numerical code that helps identify the animal, as well as certain medical details. Those tiny implants are typically imbedded in the loose skin on the back of an animal’s neck.

Digital scanning devices are then required in order to read the information contained on these microchips. In addition, a database registry is kept in each community so that animal welfare professionals can verify this information and take the necessary next steps to help that animal.

Such technology has been around in one form or another for about a generation, but our friends at JSPCA didn’t have sufficient resources to acquire the newest instruments needed to read the information on the microchips.

“We have been using chip readers for years, but they were so old that they no longer worked well,” explained Varda Linett, one of JSCPA’s most dedicated and tenured volunteers, who took Nutmeg on a tour of the Jerusalem facility in April 2016.

“By getting into the registry, we can call the owner and let them know their dog has been found wandering or injured. It also helps us determine if a dog is neutered or spayed.”

Ideally, Varda told us that they’d like to utilize six portable, handheld chip readers – one for the shelter, one in their nearby medical clinic, and four others to be distributed to staff and volunteers who respond to calls throughout Jerusalem from people who’ve found lost dogs in the city.

A JSPCA staffer demonstrates how the microchip reader technology works. Photo courtesy JSPCA

“That way,” Varda continued, “if a lost dog is found in the middle of the night, for example, a rescuer doesn’t necessarily have to travel across town to the shelter to find out who owns the dog and what their medical history might be.”

Quicker action can be taken to help the animal, and the cost of harboring it needlessly in the shelter can be reduced significantly the more of these devices there are at the JSPCA’s disposal.

“If we find a chip,” added Varda, “we can often get the dog home.”

So, Nutmeg decided to help. In April 2017, exactly a year after our initial visit, we purchased three Trovan brand LID-560 ISO Pocket Readers – the kind JSPCA specifically requested – at a cost of approximately US$400 apeice.

Our hope is to acquire the remaining three at a later date so JSCPA can have the desired number of chip readers. We’ll need to raise further funds to accomplish this goal.

Until then, as you can see from the photos above, JSCPA workers are already putting Nutmeg’s gifts to good use! Thanks to all our generous donors who helped make this possible. ETS

To help Nutmeg purchase these remaining chip readers and perform other good works around the world and around the corner, please consider making a financial contribution today. Thank you!