Before your pet becomes lost and then a statistic, use our educational instructions above. These will help you you to ensure you are prepared in advance should your pet become lost.
Step 1 – Create your pet’s digital footprint!
Open up your Contacts feature on your mobile device.
Create a new contact for each pet. Yup. Trust us.
Type in your pet’s name.
Upload a good, clear picture of your pet.
Step 2 – Get your microchip ID
Look through your adoption paperwork, breeder paperwork or veterinary clinic to get your pet’s microchip ID number. If you used a low cost clinic option, contact them. If you cannot find it, no worries.
Call your veterinarian. Ask if they have a universal microchip scanner. If they do not, shame on them, as they are missing microchips in pets. And, they may be then adding a secondary chip to the pet – neither of which is getting properly registered! Oye!
If your veterinarian has a universal scanner, great! Have them scan your pet. Take your time scanning for a microchip before concluding the chip is not present. It is very easy to miss the microchip if you do not scan properly. We have come across pets with multiple microchips in their body. This is often due to the person who scanned the pet initially and was not using a universal scanner, or the entire body was not scanned. It was then likely recommended to place a new microchip in the pet. This happened to my parents’ dogs!
Write the microchip number down. Check it once, check it twice. Transposing numbers could lead to a bad ending for your pet because the information won’t line up.
Update your pet’s Contact in your mobile device with the microchip ID number.
Step 3 – Look up your microchip company
Visit the AAHA Pet Microchip Lookup site.
Follow our instructions here to identify the microchip company and associated contact info for the chip in your pet.
The system may return one or more matches to microchip companies.
Call each company to identify which owns the microchip that is implanted in your pet.
Jot down the microchip company name AND contact number, and update your pet’s Contact info on your mobile device.
Step 4 – Confirm microchip registration
If you are already on the phone with the microchip company, awesome!
You can either call the microchip company to speak with a representative, or you can create an online account for those companies that support online registration.If using the phone, when the representative answers, state that you wish to validate and verify your pet’s microchip owner registration.
The representative will ask for the microchip ID number. The representative may respond in one of the following fashions.
Ownership information matches your information
The representative confirms that the chip is registered. Next, the representative will ask you to verify your name, address and telephone number. If there is a match, then they will confirm that the chip is registered to you.
The representative confirms that the microchip is unregistered. You may find you ask yourself, but I thought my pet was microchipped! You have just now confirmed your pet does indeed have a microchip. But unfortunately, the chip was not registered. No worries though! This why you have taken the most important step, which was to call the microchip company.
- Did you get your pet from a shelter? Congrats on adopting a shelter pet! Registering the microchip is easy peezy. Some of the microchip companies offer microchips with built-in cost for registration while others pass the cost of registration to the owner. Just let the representative know that you want to register the microchip to you, the owner. If you ever change your address or phone number, please be sure update the microchip company as well as the shelter of your change in contact information. You will be charged the registration fee. We at Missouri Lost & Found Paws implore you to not skip this fee. Your pet will have a very limited path of being returned to you successfully if someone can’t contact you for your found pet.
- Did you get your pet from a rescue group? While some rescue groups purchase microchips that include a free, lifetime registration, others do not. The decision is usually a cost based decision as the lifetime registration option is higher in cost. But don’t fret! This is easy to solve. Let the microchip company know that you wish to register the microchip to yourself, the owner. If the microchip is registered, but to the rescue group, ask the representative to add you as the primary contact and list the rescue as the secondary contact. The reason why rescue groups like to stay on the registration is because there is a lot of time and love that goes into their foster pets. If for any reason you cannot be reached in the case your pet is found and scanned for a microchip, the rescue group would be contacted to see if they will claim the found pet. If you ever change your address or phone number, please be sure to notify the rescue group of this change in contact information.
- Did you get your pet from a breeder? Most breeders want to stay as the primary contact for the registration. You can ask your breeder if they can be listed as the secondary point of contact, while you add yourself as the first point of contact. Keep in mind, breeders retire or can go out of business. Listing them as the primary contact or only contact creates a sure fire path to never being able to get a hold of you should your pet be found! If that is not the arrangement that the breeder wishes to have, then ask the microchip company to add you as the secondary point of contact. If you ever change your address or phone number, please be sure to notify the breeder of this change in contact information.
Registered Microchip, but ownership contact information does not match yours
This could be due to one of many reasons:
- Pet is registered to a rescue organization.
- Pet is registered to a breeder.
- Pet is registered to a shelter.
- Pet is registered to a different owner (i.e. pet was surrendered, pet was rehomed).
- You have a rehomed pet.
- Did you find the pet some time ago, but the pet had not been scanned for a microchip, and you assumed ownership?
- It could be that this pet has been missing, and the owner was not ever notified. This can become an emotional decision. While it is painful to think that this pet could be someone’s beloved missing pet that has been searching for a long time, the pet deserves the right to be reunited with its rightful family. The microchip company will contact the owner and put you both in touch with one another. If the owner no longer wants the pet, ask them to send a written statement (via email) transferring ownership to you. You can then proceed with registration of the microchip. The representative will walk you thru the process.
- Did you find the pet some time ago, the pet was scanned for a microchip but one was not found?
- This could be due to the fact that the person scanning for a microchip was not using a Universal Scanner. This is similar to the above situation in that, it becomes an emotionally charged decision. The pet has a right to be reunited with its rightful owner.
- If the owner no longer wants the pet, ask them to send a written statement transferring ownership to you. You can then proceed with registration of the microchip. The representative will walk you thru the process.
- Did you take in a beloved family member or friend’s pet that was ill, or passed away?
- What an incredibly compassionate thing to do! It is very, very important to update the microchip registration information to you. The representative will be able to assist with this!
- Did you get your pet microchipped at a low cost vaccine clinic? That is great! Thanks for doing this to help ensure your pet’s safety! While some of the low cost vaccine clinics include microchip registration, others may not. This is typically due to the cost to purchase the type of microchip. Some microchips include a lifetime registration, while others do not. Purchase decisions are typically cost based. It is extremely important to register your pet’s microchip to yourself. The representative is walk you thru this.