Pets in the City

Chip Truck with pug dog picture on the side

The Chip Truck

License, microchip and get a rabies vaccine for your pet in your neighbourhood. 

ExpandWhy Every Pet Deserves a Microchip

Small cat sitting with big boots

Scamp's Story

Our cat Scamp went missing six months ago…and now he's back home!

Sudden shock and agony set in immediately when I realized early last fall that Scamp was not coming home. He just went outdoors for a little sniff of nature and then something happened to him because he had vanished. Was he still alive? Could he be nearby but not able to find his way home? These shattering thoughts were swirling around in my head day after day.

I scoured the immediate neighbourhood with a couple of my friends the first 48 hours. I joined all the lost and found pet websites and checked them regularly. I posted signs all over the place. I rode around on my bicycle every chance I had…looking in back allies and under porches, expanding the search radius each time. I spoke with numerous strangers hoping that they too loved cats and would keep their eye out. I learned so much about my community during this period. One of the stark reminders I had was that not everyone reads English or has the internet. And not everyone knows about microchips and animal shelters.  I had to get my message out in other ways.

I made some bilingual signs and went into community centres, coffee shops and stores. Through this rough time, I had spurts of optimism that I will be forever grateful to others for. Kind people came forward and communicated with me in emails and on the street, offering me encouragement and hope.

Just before the hard winter set in back in November (month 3 of missing Scamp), I received a phone call from a man that had seen one of my posters. He was sure he had seen my cat and he was just 1.4km from our home. Sightings had happened many times before - in fact I had received at least a dozen or more by this time. A “sighting” in many ways is not much help because there is no way to verify who the cat really is, but what it does is give some hope that maybe, just maybe, the cat that was sighted was yours. So it gives you an area for searching; a potential area for more posters, canvassing and talking with strangers. This man told me that he thought he had seen my cat two or three times. He said not to worry because all his neighbours were cat-friendly and would take care of him. And then he said, “If your cat has a microchip he will likely be coming home to you eventually. Just remain hopeful and have faith that he'll find his way back home somehow.” His positive words stayed with me and helped me get through the Christmas season and a bout of the flu.

The New Year arrived and my husband and I were thinking that we should get another cat soon so we wouldn't carry on being so miserable day in and day out. But something was holding me back. I couldn't actually go through with a new adoption.

One day in February, around 4:30 in the afternoon we got a phone call from 24PetWatch. The lady on the phone said, “Hello, do you still have a missing cat whose name is Scamp?” Instant shock hit me and I said in a quivering voice, “YES”.  She said “He's at Toronto Animal Services and he's just fine - give them a call right away.” How could I even dial the number let alone speak. My husband had to make the call. I was shaking and crying. Six months out in the cold winter…he's still alive and coming home!

We were so curious about where he had been all this time. The Toronto Animal Services’ staff could only tell us that a woman had found him on the street and brought him in, but could not give out her name and number. I hadn't looked at the lost pet websites in a few days so I searched for a found listing and sure enough there was Scamp on one of the websites with the woman’s (who I call “Angel”) name and contact info! I sent her an email thanking her profusely and asking the questions we wanted to find answers to. She explained that she and her roommate had seen him standing at the corner of Dufferin and Bloor in the freezing cold. They bent down and asked him if he would like to get warm, then one of them went and got a box from the local pharmacy and then they put him in it to carry him home. After spending the night with the Angels, getting some much needed food and warmth, he was taken to the shelter the next morning by one of them where he was then scanned him with the magic wand (aka microchip scanner)!

Today, I looked at Scamp, safe and warm, napping on his chair and I thought that I must tell others this wonderful story. I hope it will give those with missing but microchipped pets some hope and others who don't yet have their pets microchipped, a reason to get it done.

For those with lost pets who are not microchipped, don't give up hope. Animals can be very tough and have survival skills that their humans are not aware of. Keep looking daily at the lost and found pet websites that serve your area. And for all who see cats and dogs wandering around, stop and think - is this animal potentially lost? If the answer is “yes”, then you should check the lost animal websites too. Your sighting may help someone find their pet. And if you see a lost, scared looking cat or dog, consider if it's possible to safely contain the animal and bring it into a veterinary clinic or animal shelter to be scanned for a microchip.

This story shows how wonderful people and animals can be and demonstrates that offering support and hope to others really does matter. 

Some helpful websites that I used:

24petwatch

Helping Lost Pets

Toronto Humane Society

Toronto Kijiji - under pets, lost and found

Toronto Cat Rescue

Toronto Craiglist - under lost and found

ExpandChip Truck Microchip Aftercare Instructions

Thank you for micro-chipping your pet!

Tender shoulders

Your pet may be a bit tender at the shoulders for a few days, please keep this in mind when you are petting or brushing them.

Minor bleeding

In order to insert the microchip, a small hole has been made with a needle in the skin over the shoulder blades. Occasionally, there may be a small amount of bleeding.  If you see a drop of fresh blood and are you still in the vicinity of the Chip Truck, return to the truck and we will clean the area for you.  If you have left The Chip Truck and notice fresh blood, hold a clean paper towel or cloth against the area for a few minutes until the bleeding stops. If you see dried blood on the skin or fur at home, leave the area alone so it can scab and heal.

Bathing and swimming

Avoid bathing your pet or swimming for three days after the microchip is implanted.

You will receive microchip registration information in the mail from 24-Hour Pet Watch.  Call or should call go online to ensure all registered information is correct and register your emergency contacts.

Your contact information

If you move, remember to keep all your contact information up to date with 24-hour Pet Watch, the company which provides the microchips.

Veterinarian scanning 

Ask your veterinarian to scan for the microchip at your pet's annual appointment.

ExpandToronto Animal Services Rabies Vaccination Information

 Toronto Animal Services Rabies Vaccine Information Sheet

 A veterinarian, licensed in Ontario, will be administering a rabies vaccine to your pet. The vaccine is IMRAB1® 1TF and is a killed virus, effective for 1 year. The vaccine will be administered under the skin (subcutaneously) on the right hind leg. If your pet has been vaccinated within 1 year to date, please advise staff. The veterinarian will determine if a pet is eligible for revaccination today if the pet has previously received the vaccination within one year.

The possible side effects of the vaccine are listed below. You may remain at the location where your pet receives the rabies vaccine for 15 minutes following the injection to observe for these possible side effects:

  • Hives
  • Facial swelling
  • Vomiting
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fever/lethargy
  • Lump at site of injection
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Death

If you believe your pet is having a reaction to the rabies vaccine, please contact your veterinarian immediately or take your pet to an emergency veterinary clinic right away. The following is a list of emergency veterinary clinics in Toronto. If you don't live in Toronto, please find an emergency clinic near you.

1. VEC (South): 920 Yonge Street - 416-920-2002

2. VEC (North): 280 Sheppard Avenue East - 416-226-3663

3. Toronto Veterinary Emergency Hospital: 21 Rolark Drive - 416-247-3887

4. Veterinary Hospital of West Toronto: 150 Norseman Street - 416-239-3453

If you have any questions or concerns, please call us at 416-338-PAWS (7297)

2017 Chip Truck Dates

The Chip Truck offers City of Toronto pet licences, a microchip and a rabies vaccine for only $25 for cats and $35 for dogs. If your pet is already licensed and you just need a microchip and/or rabies vaccine, you can do it for only $10 (with proof of a current pet licence).

There is no appointment necessary. All dogs must be on a leash and all cats must be properly contained in a carrier. Please bring photo identification with your address.

Save time in our express line! Fill out this form and bring it with you to an event.

Monitor this page for additional dates and locations.

Wednesday, April 19, 4 to 7 p.m

Toronto Animal Services

821 Progress Ave.-Microchip and rabies vaccine

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Wednesday, May 3, 4 to 7 p.m

PetSmart

2050 Eglinton Ave. E.-Microchip and rabies vaccine

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Saturday, May 27, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m

Woofstock:Woodbine Park

1695 Queen St. E. (Microchip ONLY)

- If you have a current Toronto pet licence, your microchip is FREE courtesy of PetSmart Charities of Canada. All clients get $10 off services during the festival.

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Sunday, May 28, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Woofstock:Woodbine Park

1695 Queen St. E. Microchip ONLY

- If you have a current Toronto pet licence, your microchip is FREE courtesy of PetSmart Charities of Canada. All clients get $10 off services during the festival. 

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Saturday, June 10, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Pet Valu, Galleria

Shopping Centre

1245 Dupont St.- Microchip and rabies vaccine

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Wednesday, June 21, 4 to 7 p.m.

Scarborough Village Recreation Centre

3600 Kingston Rd.-Microchip and rabies vaccine

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Wednesday, July 19, 4 to 7 p.m.

PetSmart

835 Eglinton Ave. E.-Microchip and rabies vaccine

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Wednesday, August 23, 4 to 7 p.m.

Centennial Park Recreation

1967 Ellesmere Rd.-Microchip and rabies vaccine

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Wednesday, September 13, 4 to 7 p.m.

PetSmart

158 North Queen St.- Microchip and rabies vaccine

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Wednesday, October 4, 4 to 7 p.m.

Northwood Community Centre

15 Clubhouse Court-Microchip and rabies vaccine