cheryl_pJanuary 15, 2011

What is everyone's experience with microchipping? Do some companies work better than others? Is there cross referencing? If a dog is found with a microchip but is NOT currently registered (yearly reg. fee?) on any of the company sites, is there hope at all for re-connecting him with owner? Is there by chance one huge data bank of microchipped animals that all vets have access to? Do local animal control agencies check for chipped animals and what would they do about them? If an owner registers at one company can he switch to another one the next year?

May I also add here that I have heard of people advert. on Craig's List, etc. that they have found a pet only to have some unscrupulous person CLAIM to be the owner & take the dog for "reasons" despicable! Beware!

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My vet scanned my dog during his annual physical and logged his chip number. The dog was chipped at the animal shelter, as they send all dogs out chipped.

I found the literature to the chip confusing, as it had a fee and registration and made it sound like if one didn't pay the fee the chip was worthless. But, I don't think this is the case. I would assume that company does have a registry and will still give the initial information out as to owner or purchaser of chip. I am sure the chip number is on record at the animal shelter, as is my contact information. So a paper trail is left. I chose not to pay the fee to keep the chip company and that fee included pet insurance in case of accident and other services. But, I still have a paper trail back to me, and positive identification any vet or animal shelter can scan to lead the animal back to me.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2011 at 10:31AM
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I have an Avid chip. I chose that brand after talking with the breeder. Her reasoning for using this particular brand is because it is used by more people, therefore there are more readers in use. This chip is used by a lot of animal shelters. She used to chip all her dogs but the cost got prohibitive. She also said she has gotten a few calls on prior chipped dogs that were found. So the owners didn't bother re-registering the dogs.

You register the chip and there is a one time fee. If you change the information you do have to pay again. I also registered the chip number with our local animal control. The animal control people did say they will also chip your dog for a nominal fee.

I chipped mine because I wanted someway to show proof positive that she was my dog. This was a painless way opposed to tattooing.

She also wears an address tag and her animal control tag. I don't advertise that she is chipped.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2011 at 11:23AM
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Also, I keep her chip number logged in my cell phone.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2011 at 11:44AM
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I also have Avid chips for my two cats. As housefairy said it was a one time registration fee--not a yearly fee. My vet did the chip implant for about $50.00 per cat. The chip is also registered with my vet. I guess I just feel an extra measure of security having this done. If either can got lost and I hadn't done the chips, I'd be kicking myself. . .

    Bookmark   January 15, 2011 at 11:46AM
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spedigrees z4VT

If they made microchips that contained MY contact info, say my telephone number, I'd be more interested. The chip industry sounds a bit like kids playing "telephone" ie sitting in a circle and whispering a phrase to one another which invariably ends up distorted when the last person in the circle repeats it. I don't want to trust a 3rd party to translate a registry number to my contact info. I want my contact info on the chip.

I've always found metal ID tags to be the most reliable form of ID. I order them inscribed with ALL my info (cell #s both my husband and my own, phone #, address, my name, etc.) I use the back sides of the town license tag and the rabies tag to engrave this info as well.

To prove ownership, if theft were a real possibility where I live, I'd go with a short tattoo (maybe a single letter initial) in a location where it wouldn't be seen but I could identify.

That said if I ever adopt an animal with a microchip, I will pay the fee to transfer the info on file to me, but I'll always continue to use ID tags as my first line of defense.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2011 at 1:24PM
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Our shelter chips all animals with the Avid chip. When I purchased my cat from the shelter, I assumed the chip was in my name once adopted. About 5 yrs after I got him I moved and called the 800 # on the Avid paperwork to update my info. That's how I found out that the chip was registered to the animal shelter and not me. I called the shelter & they said it was their policy to always keep "their" animals in their name. They said it was their way of being sure animals were returned to them if they were picked up. I thought the point of the chip was to be sure the animal was returned to you.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2011 at 10:12AM
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If the animal is returned to the shelter, they have your contact information, Cindy and many people will take an animal to the shelter first, rather than try to find out who the owner is. When the shelter scans the animal, they can contact you if your number is current. If it isn't, they should still be able to eventually find you. Chances are you'd be calling them immediately if your animal went missing, anyway and the chip verifies ownership here because our shelter will not let an adopter transfer an animal to new ownership. The agreement is to return to a shelter if you cannot keep an animal.

Before chipping was mainstream, all my animals I got from the shelter always kept their shelter ID on their tags as well as my personal info and rabies tags. That meant the shelter would not refuse them admittance, and guaranteed the animal would get back into the system instead of being taken to a pound.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2011 at 12:55PM
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spedigrees z4VT

That is *really* like kids playing telephone to depend on 2 third parties to get your animal back to you, first matching a chip's registry number to the shelter/rescue and then the rescue/shelter's workers finding your name and address in their files.

No thanks to that. I appreciate the heads up and will never adopt a pet from a shelter or rescue if that is their policy regarding chipping.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 11:27AM
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Before selecting a chip system, you might talk to your vet as to what systems are most common in your area. When we bought a puppy several years ago, the breeder had chipped him with the AKC chip. We live about 40 miles away, and our vet did not have that chip reader. Since we always use hang tags anyway, we chose not to rechip at that time. By the time he was about 2 years old, she had acquired a reader for the AKC chips, and she routinely verified and added the ID# to his records.

I'm not sure why spedigrees wouldn't adopt a pet that had been chipped by a shelter... personally I'd think the more possible ways to reunite with a lost pet, the better. That said, when we adopted a Sato from a local shelter, she had already been chipped and part of the adoption paperwork involved us updating the shelter's contact information with our own name, phone #'s, e-mails, etc.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 12:05PM
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I think spedigrees didn't get what I'd said earlier, that I had the option to pay money to the chip registry to keep my personal info current and also gain other benefits. But it would have been an annual, on-going thing. I have a paper trail already not only with the chip number being registered with the vet, but also the shelter and I am asssuming the dog warden and pound will also scan chips. I also imagine each shelter has its own policy and you'd have to check with whatever shelter you'd be considering.

I'm thrilled they do it that way. It will catch a lot of animals who would fall through the cracks if they depended on their new owners to chip them. I'm sure some new owners wouldn't even vet or neuter them if they thought they'd get away with it. This way it's at least a done deal and the animal has a chance to find it's way back home, or if not home of having a safe haven at the shelter until it does find a permanent home.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 2:02PM
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Calliope after seeing just how easy and painless it is to chip, it's something I would do again. My dog has a fairly thick ruff around her neck and does not wear her collar all the time. Even so, she can slip her collar if so inclined. She does have an i.d. tag and dog license on her collar.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 2:14PM
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spedigrees z4VT

Calliope, I 'got' what you said earlier and I have no problem with registering my name to an existing chip in an adopted animal.

I was responding to Cindy Lou who wrote:
"I called the shelter & they said it was their policy to always keep "their" animals in their name. They said it was their way of being sure animals were returned to them if they were picked up. I thought the point of the chip was to be sure the animal was returned to you."

When I adopt an animal I want all paperwork and ID info transferred to MY name. I wouldn't want MY animal found and returned to a shelter. (All the more so if I were to adopt an animal from a shelter or rescue in another state far away.) I want MY pet returned to ME directly.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 2:52PM
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I like how my rescue does the Avid chips - they chip the dogs and hold the paperwork until adoption. The new owners fill out the paperwork as the primary contact and the rescue is listed as the secondary contact. That way, if the dog's finder can't get ahold of me the rescue will be contacted to pull the dog.

Border Collies don't do well in shelters so the rescue likes to get them out as soon as possible.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 9:32PM
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spedigrees z4VT

Cal Dreamer, I like how your rescue handles the microchips too. That should be the standard for all rescues and shelters.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2011 at 12:22PM
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I'd rather have the chip in my name as well. In a perfect world, keeping the animal in the shelter's name would work. In MY world, it doesn't.

Where I live, people don't bother taking a stray to a shelter. It's usually picked up by a kennel that is contracted by the town. Your animal is then hauled 40 minutes away to a kill shelter where they are held for 48 hours. This same kennel is contracted by several other towns, there are a lot of animals to track. IF someone from the shelter where my cat came from (30 min in the other direction) has time to drive out there to get the animal, maybe they will.

Now do you see why I want my pet in my name?

    Bookmark   January 21, 2011 at 10:22AM
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spedigrees z4VT

I wonder what the legalities are for a vet to remove an existing microchip and install a new one registered to the current owner....

    Bookmark   January 21, 2011 at 11:44AM
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I have an Avid microchip. It was a one time registration fee. The application allows for 3 contact sources 1)owner 2)alternate contact and 3)Vet/Implanter. They have everyone's name, address, email address, home, work, cell and fax numbers. Within the pet description, there is space for medications and other data. (If you have a tattoo, you can include that on the form).

If your pet has a change of ownership, they require a new registration for a $19.95 fee. (If you think your pet was stolen, you could notify them in case someone tries to change the ownership.) They charge a $6 processing fee to change the information if you move/get a different vet.

If you have a shelter-chipped pet, you can add your name as the alternate for a second contact (or swap positions so the shelter is the alternate). The shelter's name should stay on there in case the animal is abandoned. That would give them a little more information on the animal.

There shouldn't ever be a reason to put a different chip in unless it was faulty.

My cat slithered out of the house one night last summer. (Thankfully she didn't travel away from the house and I recovered her in the morning). But, it was like trying to find a needle in a haystack. I was so afraid someone was going to find her and keep her because she's beautifully marked :(. It's an awful feeling when your pet is on the run; having a chip gives you a little more hope. I trust that this Avid company would notify me right away if my pet was found or if someone tried to change her ownership information.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2011 at 8:21PM
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Thanks for the information. I just brought my mother's cat from MO to NH and now know that I should have the chip information changed in case she gets out.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 12:57AM
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