CHOCOLAY TOWNSHIP — Police in Chocolay Township have some new technology on hand to help lost and found four–legged friends find their way back to their families.

“Our pets: for a lot of us — me included — they’re part of the family,” said Chief Greg Zyburt of the Chocolay Township Police Department.

The department recently received a microchip scanner that can be used to identify pets with the simple wave of a wand.

“If someone turns in an animal, or if we find an animal that is stray, we bring it in, and we use this scanner,” Zyburt said. “We just go over the neck of the animal. If it is chipped it will give out a number, and that number — we can look that up, and it will help us find the owner.”

The department received the device from the Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter via an anonymous benefactor. Having a scanner in–house allows the department to streamline the process of returning pets to their owners.

“If we have it, we can find out right away and take the dog right back to the owner,” added Zyburt. “It’s an hour process for us to take it to UPAWS, especially at night time, when there isn’t staff around.”

“If your pet is found, they can scan that pet and get them back to you sooner. It’s a win–win for everyone,” said UPAWS Community Outreach Coordinator Ann Brownell.

If your pet isn’t equipped with a microchip, UPAWS can do the procedure, which involves injecting the chip under the pet’s skin with a hypodermic needle.

“We do offer microchip clinics on the last Thursday of every month here at UPAWS,” Brownell added. “So for twenty dollars, you can get your pet microchipped, and it’s an added benefit for your animal in case it does get lost.”

Click here to find out more about getting your pet microchipped at UPAWS.