FARMINGTON — The San Juan Animal League earlier this month started offering a new service at its vaccination clinics that may help owners track down a lost pet that ends up at the pound.

At the animal league's most recent clinic, which was Feb. 9 at the Farmington Recreation Center, a veterinarian put microchips in cats and dogs, said Joel Farrell, the president of the animal league.

Once implanted, pet owners can go online and log important information about their pet, such as name and address, onto the microchip.

Should the pet end up at a shelter, staff there know how to access the information that has been stored in the microchip, Farrell said.

It was the first time microchips were offered at one of the animal league's vaccination clinics in San Juan County, but Farrell said the animal advocacy organization hopes to continue the service at future clinics.

A veterinarian planted a microchip in 67 dogs and cats at the animal league clinics. It costs $15 to get one of chips put in a pet, Farrell said. The veterinarian implants the chips with a long needle, he said.

"We were estimating it would be about 20 people, but it appears that there is interest," Farrell said. "And the affordable cost we provided the chips for, I think people found that to be reasonable."

Farrell said the animal league plans to continue offering microchips at its vaccination clinics. The next clinic is March 16 at the Sycamore Park Community Center, 1051 Sycamore St., according to the league's website.

"We're really advocates for animal welfare," Farrell said. "Any dog or cat that could end up in shelter and be recovered is a goal for the animal league and the shelter."

If pet owners want to know how to get a microchip put in their animal outside of the animal league's clinic, Farrell suggested they contact their veterinarian.

Ryan Boetel covers crime for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4644 and Follow him on Twitter @rboetel on Twitter.