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Take Paws Rescue
- Microchip Info -

Microchipping a pet is a simple procedure that can give lifelong protection for your pet if they are ever lost or stolen.  Every animal adopted from Take Paws Rescue will have a microchip included in the adoption fee. We understand that not everyone may be familiar with microchips or how they are used to help reunite lost dogs with their owners. We hope this information helps! 

What is a microchip?

  • A microchip is a small, electronic chip enclosed in a glass cylinder that is about the same size as a grain of rice. The microchip itself does not have a battery—it is activated by a scanner that is passed over the area, and the radio waves put out by the scanner activate the chip. The chip transmits the identification number to the scanner, which displays the number on the screen.

What kind of information is contained in the microchip? Is there a tracking device in it? Will it store my pet's name and my contact information?

  • The microchips presently used in pets only contain identification numbers. The device itself does not store the pet's name or any owner details. 

  • No, the microchip is not a GPS device and cannot track your animal if it gets lost.

How does a microchip help reunite a lost animal with its owner?

  • When an animal is found and taken to a shelter, rescue, or veterinary clinic, one of the first things they do is scan the animal for a microchip with a special scanning device.

  • If they find a microchip, the number can be searched in the Universal Microchip Database to identify both the manufacturer of the device and any associated universal registry it may be registered to.

  • If the microchip registry has accurate information, they can quickly find the animal's owner. 

  • If the microchip is not registered, the shelter or clinic may obtain data from the manufacturing in most instances of the original purchasing organization or company. 

    • Example - When Take Paws Rescue purchases microchips, the rescue remains the purchaser or parent owner of the microchip, before and after the microchip is registered to the dog owner. This way, if ANY Take Paws Rescue dog ends up lost or at a shelter, we can be sure to be notified. This is especially helpful if owners don't keep their contact info up to date. This is an extra level of protection. ​

How do I register the microchip and update my contact information? How much does it cost?

  • If your adopted pet from Take Paws Rescue was microchipped by our facility prior to adoption, and the adoption coordinator properly entered the data into our system prior to adoption, we have an automatic, free registration that is performed in our system. Here is some helpful information on the process and what to expect:

    • The Registry we use is Free Pet Chip Registry

    • Registration is performed by members of our volunteer team and typically occurs with 2 weeks of receipt of your adoption contract.

    • The information used on the registration is the information included on your adoption application and contract. This includes:

      • Your Email Address​

      • Your Name

      • Your Address

      • Your Phone Number

    • When Take Paws Rescue registers your microchip, the registration creates on online account (free) for the adopter. 

      • The adopter should get an email alert from the registry with instructions to login.​

      • If this email went to spam or was not received, do not worry. You can easily request access to your account on their website.

        • Go to the login screen, click Forgot Password, and request a reset using the email used on your adoption paperwork. ​

      • Once you have logged into your account, you should see your adopted pet on your profile. 

      • Keep your login info and keep your info updated if you ever move, change phone numbers, or email addresses. 

  • If your adopted pet was not microchipped prior to adoption, but done after the fact, you may manually register the microchip to yourself on the same website for FREE.

    • You will need to know the microchip ID and the manufacturer name to register the chip. If you are unsure, please email VetRecords@takepawsrescue.org

Why am I having issues trying to register my dog's microchip?

  • First, make sure you are entering the correct ID and manufacturer into the registry. The ID can be long, so check for typos.

  • If the registry says the microchip is already registered, some additional steps might be needed to successfully register the microchip. Here are some issues that could cause this error:

    • If the dog was previously adopted or came to Take Paws Rescue as an owner surrender and already registered to another owner, the registry will need to be contacted to remove the prior owner.

      • The adoption coordinator and Take Paws Rescue can assist in this process.​

      • Typically, we will need to provide proof to the registry that the dog's ownership has legally changed.

        • Registries won't change the owner of record without documentation. This protects the dogs and the owners from having their dogs stolen and re-registered to a new person without their consent. ​

        • The adoption coordinator may need to provide intake records from a shelter, owner surrender paperwork, and your adoption contract.

        • In some instances, the registry will simply contact the prior "owner" for a verbal or written confirmation.

    • We've had instances of typos occurring when an owner or volunteer attempts to register a dog's microchip, resulting in the same ID trying to be registered to more than one pet.  Considering how long the ID can be, we see how this can occur. In these instances, the adoption coordinator and volunteers at Take Paws Rescue are happy to help resolve this issue. 

  • For issues with registration, email VetRecords@takepawsrescue.org

What if I registered the microchip on Petkey or Home Again? Do I need to register it again on Free Pet Chip?

  • No. You don't have to register your dog in multiple registries. You also don't have to use the registry associated with the manufacturer. For instance, PetKey may manufacture a chip, but their registry charges fees to owners for registration and "membership".  In an effort to make microchip registration free and convenient, we integrated our animal and application database with Free Pet Chip Registry. The microchips we use are universal, meaning they can be scanned by any universal scanner and registered on any universal registry. 

Will a microchip really make it more likely for me to get my pet back if it is lost?

  • Definitely! In fact, a study of more than 7,700 stray animals at animal shelters in 23 states showed that microchipped animals are far more likely to be returned to their owners. In that study, microchipped stray dogs were returned to their owners at more than double the overall rate for all stray dogs (both microchipped and not microchipped). For stray cats, the difference in return rates was even more dramatic.

  • For microchipped animals that weren't returned to their owners, the most common reason was an incorrect or disconnected owner telephone number in the microchip registry database. 

 

 Does a microchip replace identification tags?

  • Absolutely not. Microchips are great for permanent identification that is tamper-proof, but nothing replaces a collar with up-to-date identification tags. If a pet is wearing a collar with tags when it's lost, it's often a very quick process to read the tag and contact the owner; however, the information on the tags needs to be accurate and up to date. But if a pet is not wearing a collar and tags, or if the collar is lost or removed, then the presence of a microchip might be the only way the pet's owner can be found.

How can I find out if my Take Paws Rescue adopted dog is microchipped and the number?

  • Every attempt is made to microchip an animal prior to adoption. If your pet is microchipped, typically a barcode with a long number will be on a copy of their medical records. It could also be listed as an ID number on records. The number can be all numeric or sometimes a combination of letters and numbers.

  • If you are not sure if the pet you've adopted is microchipped, you may ask the foster or adoption coordinator for this information. Fosters are given a copy of the ID when the pet is microchipped. If you still are unsure, email a request to vetRecords@takepawsrescue.org

    • In some instances, you may be asked to have the dog scanned at our Stray Cafe or your vet's office to obtain the microchip number if there is a doubt. ​

 

My pet has two different frequency microchips implanted. Do I need to have one removed? Will they interfere with each other? Which microchip will be detected by the scanner?

  • Double chipping has happened on rare occurrences, whether on the same frequency or different, typically if a dog is scanned by a scanner and a chip is not located, and chipped again.

  • Is this an issue?

    • No, you do not need to have one of the microchips removed and no, they will not interfere with each other. The microchip detected by the scanner will depend on the scanner used – if it is a universal (forward- and backward-reading) scanner, it will probably detect each chip as it is passed over it. To detect the other chip, the scanner must be reset and passed over the area where it is located. If it is a scanner that only reads one microchip frequency, it will only detect a microchip of that specific frequency and will not detect or read the other microchip.

  • If you know your pet has more than one microchip implanted, make sure you keep the database information updated for EACH microchip. People don't routinely assume there's more than one microchip (because it is very uncommon), so they will try to find the owner based on the registry number of the microchip they detect.

What should I do to "maintain" my pet's microchip?

  • Once your pet is microchipped, there are only three things you need to do:

    1. Make sure the microchip is registered

    2. Ask your veterinarian to scan your pet's microchip at least once per year to make sure the microchip is still functioning and can be detected 

    3. Keep your registration information up to date.

      • If you've moved, or if any of your information (especially your phone number) has changed, make sure you update your microchip registration in the manufacturer's database as soon as possible.

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