Dog Dies From Microchip

Posted on 02/04/2009

For Immediate Release
February 3, 2009

Dog Bleeds to Death After “Routine” Microchip Implant Procedure
Grieving owner calls for an end to mandatory microchipping in Los

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 chipping.”

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 wasparalyzed 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 havedeveloped cancerous tumors surrounding or adjacent to microchip

“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 about it.”

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 at:

Pictures of adorable Charlie Brown are available for press and blogging
use at:

Dr. Katherine Albrecht can be contacted at or (877)
287-5854, ext 1.
Her microchip implant FAQ and cancer study can be found online at
Further information about Dr. Albrecht can be found at

Information on the Los Angeles Country chipping ordinance can be found

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: (Click “Stream 2”)

The Ginsberg interview will be archived as a downloadable MP3 file on
Dr. Albrecht’s website at: (Click “archives”)

# # #