- Dog Bleeds to Death After "Routine" Microchip
Implant Procedure Grieving owner calls for an end to mandatory microchipping
in Los Angeles
- A fluffy bundle of life, love, and enthusiasm named Charlie
Brown was laid to rest last week, the victim of a microchip implant gone
horribly wrong. The long-haired, purebred Chihuahua bled to death in the
arms of his distraught owners, Lori and Ed Ginsberg of Agua Dulce, California,
just hours after undergoing the controversial chipping procedure.
- "I wasn't in favor of getting Charlie chipped, but
it was the law," said Lori Ginsberg, citing a Los Angeles county ordinance
that requires all dog owners to chip their dogs once they reach four months
of age. Dog owners who refuse to comply face a $250 fine for the first
offense and up to six months in jail for continued non-compliance. "This
technology is supposedly so great until it's your animal that dies,"
she said. "I can't believe Charlie is gone. I'm just beside myself."
- Dr. Reid Loken, the board certified veterinarian who
performed the chipping, confirmed on Friday that Charlie died from blood
loss associated with the microchip. He cited "an extreme amount of
bleeding" from the "little hole in the skin where the [microchip
implant] needle went in" as the cause of death. He said he was both
saddened and puzzled by Charlie's death.
- "I just don't know what happened to him. We put
the chip in the back in the shoulder blades, the standard place where we
put them, and there really aren't any major blood vessels in that area,"
he said. "I don't think it went in too deep; it was a pretty routine
- Dr. Loken suspected the needle may have nicked the muscle
around the scapula, causing blood to ooze from the muscle. However, his
efforts to stem the bleeding with pressure bandages were unsuccessful.
The bleeding could not be attributed to a congenital clotting problem,
he said, since Charlie had undergone a neutering and tooth extraction without
incident just weeks before.
- Charlie's owners were devastated by the loss. "Charlie
loved to play and cuddle. He brought so much joy and life to our home,"
said Lori. "We loved him and took such good care of him. He meant
everything to us."
- The Ginsbergs were quick to absolve Dr. Loken of responsibility
for Charlie's death. "He's a great vet and this was not his fault.
The real blame is with the people who forced us to implant our dog against
our better judgment," they said.
- The Ginsbergs plan to petition the Los Angeles County
Board of Supervisors to repeal the mandatory chipping law, and have sought
the help of prominent consumer privacy advocate Dr. Katherine Albrecht.
Albrecht is a Harvard-trained researcher who has authored a definitive
academic paper citing literature that links microchips with cancer in dogs
as well as laboratory animals. She has also authored an exhaustive, 47-page
FAQ on microchip implants.
- Albrecht cites other adverse reactions stemming from
microchips in the past. In one case, a struggling kitten died instantly
when a microchip was accidentally injected into its brain stem. In another,
a cat was paralyzed when an implant entered its spinal column. The implants
have been widely reported to migrate within animals' bodies, and can cause
abscesses and infection. In at least two documented cases, dogs have developed
cancerous tumors surrounding or adjacent to microchip implants.
- "Tragedies like what happened to Charlie Brown are
probably more common than we like to think," said Albrecht. "But
it takes courageous people like the Ginsbergs to come forward and talk
- Albrecht and the Ginsbergs are calling for a repeal of
all mandatory animal chipping laws nationwide, and for the creation of
a national registry to document adverse reactions from the chipping procedure.
- "It's horrible to live in a country where your choices
are being take away and you don't get to make decisions about your family
and your life anymore," said Lori Ginsberg. "Politicians should
not take away my right to do what I thought was best for my pet."
- For The Media:
- Lori and Ed Ginsberg have agreed to speak to the media
to help raise awareness of the dangers of pet chipping. They can be contacted
- Pictures of adorable Charlie Brown are available for
press and blogging use at:
- Dr. Katherine Albrecht can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
or (877) 287-5854, ext 1. Her microchip implant FAQ and cancer study can
be found online at www.antichips.com Further information about Dr. Albrecht
can be found at www.katherinealbrecht.com
- Information on the Los Angeles Country chipping ordinance
can be found at: http://www.laanimalservices.com/PDF/medical/lacounty_ordinance.pdf
- Live Radio Interview Today The Ginsbergs will be joining
Dr. Katherine Albrecht on her live, syndicated radio program today to discuss
microchip implants and Charlie's tragic death. The segment will air from
4:00-6:00 PM Eastern time on "The Dr. Katherine Albrecht Show."
The show broadcasts daily on the Genesis Communications Network, and can
be heard live at: http://gcnlive.com/Listen_Live.html (Click "Stream
- The Ginsberg interview will be archived as a downloadable
MP3 file on Dr. Albrecht's website at: http://www.katherinealbrecht.com