Not so Fun Fact: 1 in 3 pets will go missing at some point in their life.
Fun Fact: Studies show that a registered microchip reunites more pets with their families than any other reunification tool or platform!
When adopting a pet, it's imperative that (if the shelter, rescue or private owner didn't already), that you transfer the pet's microchip registration into your name immediately. A microchip without your current contact info (aka the registration), will not help reunite you and your pet. The registration is just as important as the chip itself.
1. The shelter/rescue or private owner you adopted from should provide you with your new pet's microchip number, however if they don't, simply take them to any veterinary clinic or animal shelter to be scanned. If a microchip is detected, they'll write your pet's chip number down for you; it will be either a 9 digit numeric, 10-digt alphanumeric, or a 15 digit numeric number (more than likely, the latter).
2. Once you have their chip number, enter it at PetMicrochipLookup.org, and you’ll see which company their chip is registered with.
Pro Tip: Microchips are sometimes registered in multiple registries. PetMicrochipLookup.org searches 38 registries for you at one time (so cool), and shows you if the chip is registered with any of those 38 companies. The top result (and often the only result) will be the most recently updated registration.
3. IF the microchip search on PetMicrochipLookup.org yields no results, you may register your pet's chip in the registry of your choice. See below for our two registry recommendations (not all registries are created equal)!
Pro Tip: Different microchip registries do not talk to one another, so registering your pet's chip with another company will not affect an existing registration. Make sure to update any existing chip registrations so that all reunification roads for your pet lead back to you!
4. As the adopter, if the shelter, rescue, or private owner hasn't already, you should initiate the transfer of your pet's chip number through the company the chip is currently registered with.
Every registry is different, some require the new pet parent to initiate the microchip transfer as there is often a fee. Other registries prefer for the existing pet parent on file to initiate the transfer. If you adopted from a shelter/rescue, they will usually initiate the transfer or register the chip on your behalf; be sure to log in to the chip registry and ensure your contact info is correct. Below are two microchip registries we recommend along with the details on their individual transfer processes (in case your pet's chip is already registered with AKC Reunite or Home Again).
As the new adopter, you may always select one of these registries below, regardless of whether the pet's chip is registered in another registry or not, however, we strongly advise you also initiate a transfer to your name, if the chip is indeed already registered with a different company.
AKC Reunite: a one-time $19.95 enrollment fee for the lifetime of your pet. This includes all updates you may need to make to your contact info or to your alternate contacts.
- A transfer is the same as an enrollment and costs a one-time $19.95 fee for the pet's lifetime. Once you initiate the transfer, the previous owner will need to verify the transfer. If, for some reason they do not verify the transfer, the chip will be transferred to your name in 30 days.
Home Again: FREE to register your pet's microchip for the lifetime of your pet. This includes all updates you may need to make to your contact info or to your additional contacts.
- A transfer is also FREE and can be initiated by you or the previous owner, however we highly recommend that you, as the new adopter, initiate the transfer, otherwise the previous owner will have to provide all of your contact info (information we advise you not give out). Once you initiate the transfer, the previous owner will need to verify the transfer. If for some reason they do not verify the transfer, the chip will be transferred to your name in 30 days.
Pro Tip: After the transfer is complete, you may be led to believe you need to pay a $19.99 enrollment fee; but you do NOT have to pay for your pet(s) to be safely registered with Home Again! You'll be prompted to Complete the Enrollment again, leading you to believe you must pay. You do NOT have to take this step for your pet's chip to be registered. If you'd like to confirm (and we recommend you do!), follow these two quick steps:
- Enter your pet's information on Home Again, and once you get to this step, STOP:
- Next, go to PetMicrochipLookup.org and enter your pet's microchip number (that you just registered with Home Again). You'll then be able to see that it's safely registered with Home Again without paying a fee!
- While we couldn't display the pets' full chip numbers for their protection, you'll see from the screenshots above and below that these chip numbers match based on the last few digits:
Thank you for protecting your pet with a registered microchip and giving them every opportunity to make it back home to you if they are ever lost/found!