The Microchip Hunters had 606 requests in 2018 from shelters, individuals, and animal rescues to trace untraceable microchips. We located owners in 42% of our cases. Although not every owner reclaimed his animal, we consider this a highly effective way to get animals home and increase shelter Return to Owner rates. This is a free service to trace so-called dead-end microchips offered by nonprofit organizations allied with Lost Dogs America & HelpingLostPets.com. This service is only possible due to our clever hard working volunteers and the agreements we have with microchip companies. Thanks also to the shelters in Chicago and San Antonio who use our service every day.
Home Again, 24 PetWatch, AVID, and PetLink provided the majority of cases, and in that order. It is gratifying to see their commitment to getting lost dogs and cats home.
Other companies can be split into two groups, responsible companies and bad actors. The other five responsible companies counted for 59 cases.
Unfortunately, the irresponsible companies, the bad actors, accounted for 43 cases. We did not find any owner information for these cases and none of the animals were reunited. The chips were worthless for getting animals home. Their purpose is to market microchips at a price to undercut their responsible competitors. No effort is made to register owners or even keep track of who the chips are sold to for implanting. With other companies, we often get animals with unregistered chips home, because we know who implanted the chip.
To dismiss these companies as nano or 900 chips, as is sometimes done, is an error. Nano refers to the size and there are some reputable companies using these smaller chips. In addition, not all 900 chips are bad actors and some irresponsible companies are using chips that start with other numbers. You can’t tell from the series number.
The bad actors make zero effort to gather or keep owner information. We could not even determine which company made a dozen of these chips, which is the ultimate in not providing information. You don’t even know who to call to find out there is no owner information. If you are undecided about which microchip to implant, ask your veterinarian, and remember, the lowest cost option is not always the best option to get your animal home. Keeping and maintaining owner information and sales information in a database is not cheap. Less expensive chips make a cost-cutting choice not to do that.
There were 6 overseas microchips and none were successfully traced to an owner in 2018, but we have succeeded with overseas chips in the past. We suggest that if your animal has an overseas chip, that you use the free registry, Found.org.
What can owners do? Have your veterinarian scan your animals annually and call to check your registration is correct. You may not have moved or changed your information, but it could have been entered incorrectly or corrupted in any number of ways. If you do not have a microchip from a reputable company, register it with Found.org.
What can shelters and rescues do? Use our short form to request us to trace chips that have you stumped. It is at MicrochipHelp.com We also have a comprehensive microchip format list that is yours for the asking at firstname.lastname@example.org. It will help you find the correct chip company when PetMicrochipLookup gives you a list of possible companies.
What can Good Sams do? Thank you for caring for found animals and helping them go home. Most lost animals don’t need a home, they need to go home! Hold that animal a few more day and see MicrochipHelp.com to submit a request for us to trace a chip.
I received owner information from Chicago Animal Care and Control regarding Duke, as they implanted his microchip, and the owner's information with AVID was not updated. CACC was not able to reach his family.
I left some voicemails, and sent some texts, and I was able to find one of the sons of the registered owner, Christian. Christian needed a few days to get to CACC to pick Duke up, due to his work schedule, but told me "Duke grew up with myself and 3 siblings." He needed to get him back home, and said "they were so worried they would never see him again." Duke is 13 years old.
Christian was able to pick Duke up. He is very grateful that Chicago Animal Control waited for him to come and get him, and that Lost Dogs Illinois paid for his reclaim fee.
Duke is now back with his family he grew up with.
Welcome home Duke boy!
I texted Cindy to let her know we received her microchip hunters form, and would be getting started on helping find the owners of the two dogs she found, one with a microchip and one without!
Cindy replied: "I'm going to give it best shot, but I'm not hopeful. I fear they were abandoned, but they are really good dogs! So I know somebody loved them and taught them well! We walked the street, put flyers on telephone poles and under neighbors door mats. We plan on in the next day or two actually walking the dogs up and down the street. Very much appreciate your help and hope you will provide more insight than what I have. They are extremely bonded, so much so that the poodle broke loose today twice and immediately came back. He will not leave without his buddy. I'm doing everything in my power to keep these two together which is why I have them at my house versus turning them into a shelter."
After spending much time trying non-working or incorrect numbers for family members, I decided to call a neighbor of the address the microchip was registered to (Home Again), since the dogs were found not too far from there. A wonderful woman said she knew the neighbor, but didn't see them much. She graciously put her son on the phone and he was so kind to go over and give them a message to call me.
Not five minutes later, I received a call from the owner, and he confirmed they were missing two dogs and gave me their names. The one matched the name on the microchip, so I knew all was good!
Cindy connected with the owner, and not only reunited them, but is in touch with them to help them with the additional neutering and microchipping for Grunon!
It is heartwarming to know there are kind people like Cindy helping dogs and their families stay together. Thank you so very much for going out of your way to help them additionally with Grunon! You are truly wonderful!
Look at the love for these dogs in the photo!
Lost Dogs Illinois
This time, Chloe, a ten year old Chihuahua, was found wandering the street in Oakland, CA. She was taken to a vet for scanning, and the vet attempted reaching the owner for the microchip information, and was unable to find a working phone number. The finder sent it to us for help! The finder Leslie, told me, "She is a doll and I think she probably lives close by given her condition, but I have no idea since her chip is out of date. She is definitely in good hands!!!"
I contacted the microchip company (Home Again) and was given an owner name with two outdated phone numbers, as well as an alternate name that also had an outdated number. I am always happy to get so much information. I did a quick search and sent an email to the registered owner, Tamika, but wasn't able to work on this for a couple hours, so microchip hunter Susan E. took over to help connect with Chloe's family.
Susan E. found the alternate contact Judy on Facebook, and sent her a message. She turned out to be the owner's mother. In the meantime, I received an email back from Tamika, letting me know that she had to give Chloe away, and that she had two owners since. Judy, Tamika's mother, also let Susan know this! Tamika spoke with the owner that she gave Chloe to, and in turn, spoke with the newest family that had just recently taken her in.
Judy and Tamika wanted Chloe back with her and her family, and that made all the owners so happy! Susan gave Judy the finder's information, and Tamika made arrangements to pick her girl up after all this time! Leslie sent this, " Happy ending! Tamika has a three-year-old son she was pregnant with when she had to give up Chloe so she's excited to have her back for her son."
Tamika shared this with us today, "I am so happy she is home again and that she remembers me. Thank you so much for all of your help during this time. I am extremely thankful for all that you have done." She will be updating the microchip so that her new address and phone numbers are current.
Welcome back to your original family Chloe! As finder Leslie said, you are a doll, and loved by many!
*reunion photo above*
~Jeanette and Susan E.
Lost Dogs Illinois
@Lost Dogs of California
Check out the flyer that got this 15 year old Schipperke home, and the adorable reunion photo!
Carolina, a good samaritan in Florida, found this little senior Schipperke and knew he had to be missed! She registered him on helpinglostpets.com so he could be posted on the Lost Dogs Floridapage. She took him in to get him scanned for a microchip, and because it was unregistered, sent it to microchiphelp.com so #microchiphunterscan try and help get this little sweetie home.
It was an unregistered AVID chip, that was implanted by an animal hospital in Texas. This animal hospital had no owner information for us. This truly was a dead end microchip.
I got back to Carolina, and let her know we couldn't help track the owner through the microchip, but suggested she get flyers out in the area he was lost. Carolina is wonderful, and said she was at work, but would get flyers out after work. She told me, " I'm so sure they are looking for him he is such a gentle old man. He ate well and is sleeping in a crate while I'm at work. He doesn't bark or whine."
A few hours later, I received a text, "FOUND THE OWNER!!!!," and a photo that followed. It was a photo of a handwritten flyer, shown below. Carolina was so happy! She said the flyer was up at the exact location she found him, and that Julio was coming to pick him up early evening. "He got him from a breeder in Texas at the age of one. He is now a 15 year old senior. He is so happy. He said he will be responsible and register him."
Carson is now home! Julio was overjoyed that he was safe and cared for. Carolina told me, "Thanks so much for the support! It meant a lot to know I had a team looking for his owners with me." Thank YOU Carolina. We all appreciate what you did for little Carson.
Lost Dogs Illinois
Luna is home after 9 days!!!
Jack, a good samaritan from Florida, took in a beautiful lost cat , and had her scanned for a microchip. He decided to send it to us at#MicrochipHunters after registering the cat onhelpinglostpets.com, and trying to find her owner for several days. Her name is Luna.
I emailed Jack after receiving the case to confirm he was still holding on to Luna, and to let him know I would be trying to find her family. His message back to me was that he contacted the number associated with her microchip, and got a call back from someone saying he was bothering his son, and that they didn’t know anything about a cat. He wanted to let me know not to call that number.
I did my usual searches, and began calling and texting anyone related to the registered owner, and finally, the father of the owner answered the phone. He told me he would let his son know to call me, but that he didn't know of his son having a cat. I wasn't hopeful that I would hear back from anyone.
Late evening, I received a call. It was from a friend of the current owner. She explained that the father did connect with his son, and that the cat was actually the son's cat, together with his girlfriend. They broke up, and agreed the girlfriend would keep the cat. She told me they were looking for her and asked about picking her up. I emailed the finder to call me to relay the information to him and give him the phone number to make arrangements to get Luna home. He was very happy to hear this good news, and I could tell very relieved.
I received a text from Jack shortly after, saying Luna is on her way home. He made someone very happy.
Thank you Jack for taking such good care of Luna, getting her scanned, posting on helpinglostpets, and sending this case to microchiphelp.com. You are wonderful!
***Here is what Jack had to say when updating Luna to "Back Home" on helpinglostpets***
"The cat was lost just before the owner moved, and the phone number listed for the microchip was to an old home.
Lost and Found Pets of Tallahassee (through Microchip Hunters) was able to drill down and find an owner with out of date contact information within a day of posting there. I wish I had gone to them first, they did what Nextdoor, the City's Animal Services, and the Humane Society were not able to."
*Photo of Luna reunited with her family*
Lost Dogs Illinois
Shadow and her brother Caspar were let out for a little fresh air in their fenced yard. Shortly afterward they were nowhere to be found.