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AURORA, Colo. — Horses attending an event at Arapahoe Park Saturday had a chance to be microchipped by a veterinarian as part of a campaign to encourage owners to protect their animals by getting them chipped.

As Dr. Lois Toll dealt out microchips on Saturday, she said they are the one true way to positively identify a horse’s owner. She said the practice has been around for 15 years, but is increasing in popularity and — in some situations — a microchip is required.

“It’s the only real way you can keep track of where they go,” said Dr. Toll.

Bill Scebbi is the executive director of the Colorado Horse Council. He said during a wildfire, 600 to 700 horses can end up at a fairground because of evacuations. Scebbi said microchipping a horse makes it easier to reunite it with its owner after the disaster.

“Microchipping is one of the most important programs you can have with horse identity in the world,” said Scebbi.

Scebbi said under the Colorado Equine Microchipping Program, people can purchase an equine microchipping kit online for $20 and ask their veterinarian to insert the chip during the horse’s next appointment.