Washington County invests in devices to help fight animal abuse

Every Washington County police department and each humane officer are getting a small tool that could help catch animal abusers and reunite families with pets.

Money from drug seizures is now going toward microchip detectors.

“When we get these pets, most of them are frightened, most are scared,” said Canonsburg Police Chief Alex Coghill.

The detectors scan a pet to see if it has a chip that can quickly identify the owner and where that owner lives. If the pet doesn't have a chip, the department is left waiting on answers.

“When a pet can't be identified, this leaves us scrambling, making phone calls, posting on social media sites or waiting for the owner to call 911 or the police station,” said Coghill said.


That's why officials are now encouraging people to make sure their pets are microchipped.

The district attorney's office also supports hiring more county humane officers. Right now, the county has three, two of whom are volunteers.

One assistant DA has been designated to work with law enforcement on serious animal abuse cases.