Another cat owner speaks out (scanner problems) : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Tuesday, February 15, 2000

Another cat owner speaks out

Woman claims cat euthanized after identity-scan failure

By DOUG BEAZLEY, EDMONTON SUN An Edmonton woman says she lost her "favourite cat" to euthanasia because an SPCA-implanted pet identity chip failed to track her down after the cat went missing.

Lynn Chiarieri-Hirsch said an SPCA official told her in July 1998 that a cat put to sleep that month was probably her cat, which had run away three days earlier.

"They said (the euthanized cat) was probably Mouse, because he fit the description and he was picked up just two doors down from me," she said last night.

"I was devastated. I adopted the cat from the SPCA in 1995, and they put that chip in him because they assured me it was the best way to identify him."

Meanwhile, Edmonton SPCA head Roger Simms said it was "unlikely" the euthanized cat identified as Hirsch's was actually her cat - although he admits he can't be sure.

"I'm not saying it didn't happen," he said. "But the chances it did happen are very slim. We usually scan pets we bring in three or four times for chips. We return one or two pets every day through use of the chip scans. And we haven't been having problems with the scanners."

This week, The Sun reported that some chip scanners sold by two major manufacturers have failed to identify chip implants in pets sent to the municipal pound and the University of Alberta. One manufacturer is considering a scanner recall.

Hirsch said she believed at first her cat died due to a one-in-a-million human error. But after reading the media coverage, she said, she wonders whether the SPCA has accidentally killed more pets than they're admitting to because of chip scan mistakes.

"I think this has been going on for a long, long time," she said.

Not true, said Simms. He said the SPCA checks its scanning equipment daily and he's convinced it's reliable.

"It's the best identification system anyone's come up with yet," he said, adding there's no way to know for sure whether Hirsch's cat was euthanized, short of combing through thousands of individual pet files.

-- Homer Beanfang (, February 15, 2000


Won't be long before they start euthanizing people for not having chips implanted either.

-- Satanta (, February 15, 2000.

Good reason to keep your kitty inside the house.

-- (formerly@nowhere.zzz), February 15, 2000.


-- Dee (, February 15, 2000.

Just say NO to chip implants!

-- 666 (fried@with.that), February 15, 2000.

Yea, they probably don't even scan the cats. A collar having a good name tag with phone number on it should be far superior to this.

-- Y2kObserver (, February 15, 2000.

Yes, keep your cat inside--it's dangerous out there--cars and so on.

-- Mara (, February 15, 2000.

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