PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Ask any pet owner and they’ll tell you there is no worse feeling than losing an animal and not knowing when, or if it will be found.
As of today, all police municipalities in Allegheny County are now equipped with a new microchip scanner tool.
Thousands of pets get lost every day and often, the animal is never found.
That prompted financial advisor Bob Fragasso to take action.
He and his wife bought a microchip scanner for the Baldwin Police Department and that got the ball rolling.
“It’s gratifying that a project that we started a couple of years ago now is going to be expanded to cover the other communities as well,” Baldwin Police Chief Michael Scott said.
Animal Friends and 119 police departments in Allegheny County got microchip scanners. The offices of the Allegheny County district attorney and the county treasurer footed the bill all after hearing from Fragasso.
“The D.A.’s office and my office partnered for the first time. It’s historic where we actually stepped up and created this scenario where we can supply all these scanners to all these municipal police departments. Nothing like this has ever happened like this in Allegheny County,” Allegheny County Treasurer John Weinstein said.
Any animal leaving a shelter such as Animal Friends, leaves with a chip and private owners are following suit. Those responsible for this program are certain it will work.
“We’re going to tell the public if you lose your animal, we’ll find it for you if you use this process,” Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala said.
Police departments armed with this new tool are more than anxious to use them.
“This is a very important tool for our department. Obviously, our goal as officers is to reunite a missing pet, just like we would reunite any other missing family member. To be able to have a tool to make that happen more quickly, is obviously very advantageous to us,” Mt. Lebanon Police Deputy Chief Aaron Lauth said.
The money for the project came from the extra dollar you pay when you get a dog license and the district attorney’s drug forfeiture account.
The scanners were $200 each.