Lost and Never Found – How Microchips and Pet ID Tags Can Reunite Pets with their Families

Late Saturday night, one of my clients stopped by pleading for help. A boxer had been hit by a truck behind his house and was thrown across the road. The dog had a collar, but did not have any tags, so there was no way for anyone to contact the owners. Another couple had also stopped and was sitting with the dog while my client came to see if I would help. My husband and I quickly dressed and followed him to the dog, but by the time we arrived, he had already died. We took the dog to the clinic where I scanned him for a microchip to see if I could locate the owner. Unfortunately, he did not have a microchip. Somewhere nearby there is a family that will be spending Christmas day wondering where their dog might be and if he will ever come home again.

Microchips and pet ID tags have been helping pets reunite with their families for years.    Many happy endings have occurred when we were able to call a number on the tag or scan the pet and find a microchip number that would eventually lead us to their worried owners. Many other pets have wound up in shelters or injured and euthanized without the owners ever finding them. Many other pets are stolen and never returned. If your pet should ever escape, be stolen or simply lost having both a microchip and a pet ID tag will help you reunite with your pet.

The microchip is a small capsule that is inserted just under the skin between the shoulder blades with a large needle. Anesthesia is not needed and it is just a quick stick that many pets do not even notice when it is done. The microchip releases a tracking number when it is scanned by a handheld device. The chip can not be scanned by satellites and does not contain any other information other than a special number and the maker of the chip.


When the pet is micro-chipped, the owner then registers the number with either the chip manufacturer or with the American Kennel Club Companion Animal Recovery (AKCCAR.org). The AKCCAR.org will register any chip and is one of the largest recovery organizations for lost pets. There is a one time registration fee that we include in the cost of the microchip and there is not an annual renewal fee. Many veterinarians and animal shelters have  scanners and when animals arrive at their facilities they are scanned for a microchip and if one is found, the AKCCAR is called at 800-252-7894 to see if the number is registered so the owners can be located. Every clinic has their stories of reunited pets and families. This year we have reunited several dogs and cats with the microchips and many more with ID tags.

Why should I also have a pet ID tag if my pet has a micro-chip?

In the case of the poor Boxer that was injured, if he had pet ID tags on, the good Samaritans that were comforting him as he laid dying could have contacted the dog’s parents without having to wait for the clinic to open and scan for the chip.

My pet has a Rabies tag, why do I need a personal pet ID tag?

The Rabies tag has an id number and the clinic phone number. The finder of the pet must wait until the clinic is open to be able to match the ID number with owner. In cases of an injured pet, critical hours to get life saving treatment will be wasted until the owner can be found.

Why should I have my pet micro-chipped if he has a pet ID tag?

Pet tags can get lost, snagged or removed, especially if your dog had been stolen. A micro-chip is added insurance that your pet will find their way home.

The best way to ensure your pet will get back to you is to have them tagged and micro-chipped.

We have micochips and pet ID tags in stock. We also have a new engraver  that can personalize your pet ID tags


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