EL PASO, Texas (KTSM)- The Las Cruces Animal Control is reminding dog and cat owners of the importance of microchipping their pets and updating registration information when changes are made.

When a dog or cat is found, animal control officers first scan the pet to determine if it is microchipped or not. If the pet is microchipped, the officer will contact the owner and return the pet as soon as possible.

However, animal control officers are finding that many pets are not microchipped or tagged.

In some cases, chipped pets have outdated information making it difficult to determine ownership. If the pet’s owner cannot be determined or contacted, the pet is taken to the Animal Services Center of the Mesilla Valley (ASCMV).

If the dog or cat has no tag or microchip, the ASCMV is required to keep the pet for only three days. If the pet has a tag or chip, the ASCMV must keep the pet housed for at least. five days.

Adopted in 2019, the Las Cruces City Ordinance requires that all dogs and cats be microchipped. That same ordinance requires phone or address changes, or updates in the pet’s ownership to be done within 30 days of those changes.

In addition, pet owners found guilty of allowing their pet to be unrestrained can be fined up to $500 and/or a sentence of 90 days incarceration could be imposed.

The ASCMV located at 3551 Bataan Memorial West in Las Cruces, offers microchipping of pets for a nominal fee of $10 each.

Pet owners are encouraged to call ASCMV for availability and more information at (575) 382-0018.