Four legged officers are an invaluable part of local law enforcement agencies.
"They learn all the skills that they use on the street to track down bad guys, searching buildings for suspects, all their protection work," said SGT Mark Peavy with the Tallahassee Police Department K-9 Unit.
With all the money and training that goes into making them skilled officers, the departments want to be sure to keep their canine companions at their side. That's why the Leon County Sheriff's Office and the Tallahassee Police Department are micro-chipping every one of them.
"The micro-chip is the only permanent form of ID that can't be lost. Collars, tags can fall off. Some animals are tattooed but you have to know what the tattoo means and how to use the tattoo information," said veterinarian Rachel Reeves.
The micro-chip is about the size of a grain of rice. No more painful than a vaccine, it’s inserted under the scruff of the canine's neck.
"The dogs are extremely valuable with all the training that goes into them and we want to make sure they're safe, and most important we want to set a good example for the community," said Leon County Animal Services Director Dee Crumpler.
The chip has a scannable bar code. Veterinarians say if a canine is lost, they're able to reunite them with their owners within a matter of hours.
For a crime fighting canine that means the quicker they can be back at work catching criminals and keeping our community safe.
Micro-chipping is fairly quick and inexpensive. To find out how you can get your dog or cat micro-chipped, contact your local animal shelter or veterinarian.