Microchips are an implanted form of identification. This inexpensive chip — the size of a grain of rice — is implanted between your pet’s shoulder blades just under the skin and is equipped with an individual scanning number. A microchip is a passive (containing no internal power source) Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and when a scanner passes over the microchip, the circuit is completed and the chip transmits a number to the scanner. That number is then listed with your contact information in a nation-wide database that can be accessed by veterinarians and animal shelters.
DCHS offers microchips to adopters, to people who are redeeming their lost pets and to the general public on an appointment basis at the Main Shelter. Microchip clients and owners who are redeeming their lost pet will be asked to fill out a 'Microchip Registration' and 'Microchip Waiver and Release Statement' form prior to microchip implant.
The cost to insert and register the microchip is:
- Microchips for Dogs - $40
- Microchips for Cats - $25
- Microchips for animals at time of redemption - $15
If you are interested in scheduling a microchip or ID tag appointment at DCHS, please call (608) 838-0413 ext. 100 and leave a message. DCHS staff will respond soon to get the necessary information and schedule your appointment.
We use 24PetWatch microchips and enter all information about the owner and the animal in our database, as well as registering the chip for you with the 24PetWatch national database. If you move, change phone numbers or change ownership (i.e. rehome the pet) you will need to contact the microchip company to update the information on the chip. It is very important to keep your information up-to-date so that you can be reached in the event your pet goes missing.
Keeping your pet's microchip information up-to-date
To check your pet's microchip information, visit the manufacturer's website. Have a number but not the brand? Look it up in the universal microchip lookup. The most common microchip brands are:
- 24PetWatch (Adopted from DCHS? Your animal most likely has this brand of microchip)
- HomeAgain (Is your DCHS dog from Greater Birmingham? They may have this type of microchip.)
- AKC Reunite
Microchips and ID tags help animals find their way home!
Georgian’s dog Yoshi decided to make a run for it when the front door was accidentally left open. She feared for Yoshi as a number of loose animals had been hit by cars in her neighborhood. Fortunately, Yoshi was found safe by police and delivered to DCHS. A staff member scanned for a microchip right away and used that information to contact Georgian, who happily picked up her beloved pet and brought her worries to an end.
Thanks to microchips, ID tags, and other technology, returning animals to their families can be easier and faster than ever before. Make sure your pet has ID tags on their collar and that the information on their microchip is up to date for the best chance reuniting with your lost pet.