A couple in California, required by law to have their dog implanted with a microchip in order to take him camping, swallowed their objections only to watch their Chihuahua Charlie Brown bleed to death from the procedure.
"I wasn't in favor of getting Charlie chipped, but it was the law," said Lori Ginsberg, Charlie's owner, citing an ordinance that requires all dogs over the age of four months in unincorporated Los Angeles County be microchipped. Dog owners who refuse to comply face a $250 fine for the first offense and up to six months in jail and $1,000 fine for continued non-compliance.
Dr. Loken, the board-certified vet who performed the implant, confirmed that Charlie began bleeding from the implant site and despite efforts to stop the flow, died from extreme blood loss. "We put the chip in the back in the shoulder blades, the standard place where we put them, and there really aren't any major blood vessels in that area," Loken said. "I don't think it went in too deep; it was a pretty routine chipping."
The Ginsbergs are grieved, but they don't blame Dr. Loken. "The real blame is with the people who forced us to implant our dog against our better judgment."
The Ginsbergs are calling for a repeal of mandatory animal chipping laws and for the creation of a national registry to document adverse reactions from the chipping procedure. "Politicians should not take away my right to do what I thought was best for my pet."