Animals of Inkster and Garden City have a golden opportunity, thanks to Tail Waggers in Livonia and the Bissell Technology Foundation who are partnering on an animal microchipping program. Tail Waggers offers low cost microchipping and other services regardless of income or residency, but special assistance is available for those two target cities.
Laura Zain, founder of Tail Waggers, is glad to have the opportunity to microchip more pets. “It really increases the reuniting of the pet and an owner. When people find an animal, their instinct is to take it to the police or a shelter. By law these places have to check for a microchip. The animals won’t go up for adoption or be euthanized if they have a chip while they are looking for the owner.”
Tail Waggers has done microchipping for four years, and with Bissell underwriting for about six months. Zain said the funding is helping them do microchipping in a targeted area where the effect should be measurable. The normal cost is $30 per pet, which includes Tail Waggers handling the sometimes inconvenient task of registering the animal in the database that can be checked should the animal be found.
On top of the microchipping, Tail Waggers provides services to help pet owners. “Most rescue organizations help adopt animals, but we are a little different in that our focus is on home-owned animals. People are struggling and they can’t pay their bills. Animals are getting surrendered because people can’t feed their pets.
“We have a Pantry 4 Paws where people can get donated food for their pets. People also put off vaccinations because of the cost. Our vaccinations are low cost, and we have spay and neuter services that are low cost.”
Her heart goes out to people and animals that suffer. “There are people who have lost everything – their jobs, maybe their families, their homes. For many people their pet is the only thing they have left. We make it possible for those people to keep this source of companionship with them.”
Pantry 4 Paws serves over 50 animals each week, and overall the organization has 15-20 regular volunteers. Tail Waggers began in 1989 as what was supposed to be a one-time fundraiser in honor of an aunt who used to feed stray animals out of the back room of a bar in Detroit. But once Zain saw the difference the support had made, she knew she needed to continue. Keeping an all-volunteer staff, Tail Waggers has grown over the years, and moved into its own storefront location. Zain is in the process of having a Spay and Neuter clinic constructed to further the Tail Waggers’ impact.
On top of all that, Tail Waggers will also be doing 15 clinics from March to September where they’ll travel to near-by communities and do low-cost vaccinations. And while they don’t do animal adoptions, they can connect people to resources they need in that area.
One big fundraiser that’s coming up is the Chili, Hoops and Hounds chili cook-off which takes place March 23 at UAW Local 182, 35603 Plymouth Rd, Livonia. from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m, with all-you-can eat chili for $15 or samples from contestants for $1 each. Judging takes place at 3 p.m., and there is still room for more teams to enter.