Shelters Vets

Maximize Reunifications, Minimize Effort and Cost

Information for Animal Shelters, Clinics, & Veterinarians

At Found Animals we understand that both time and money are precious commodities in the animal welfare business. That’s why we designed our microchip system from the ground up with one goal in mind - maximize reunifications and minimize effort and cost. Found Animals offers high quality, affordable microchips and scanners to animal professionals along with FREE access to the Found Animals Registry which accepts all brands and frequencies of microchip. Access to the Found Animals Registry is also FREE to pet owners - no charge to register, update, or transfer a pet.

Our state-of-the-art Found Animals Registry was designed with animal care professionals in mind. It utilizes automated Found Pet Alerts® to call, text, and e-mail pet owners, emergency contacts and more, over the course of four days, with just one click. No more phone calls or waiting on hold; our registry does the work so that your staff can focus on other priorities.

Create your free Shelter/Veterinarian account now to start searching pets in the Found Animals Registry, accessing the contact information you need, and sending automated Found Pet Alerts®. Watch our Introduction to the Found Animals Registry webinar to learn more about the features and functions we offer and visit our Microchip Products page for information on our microchips and scanners.

For an overview of how microchips work - including information on frequencies, scanners, registries, and what your organization can do to make microchips as effective as possible - watch our Maximizing Microchips webinar. Below you will find answers to the most frequently asked Shelter, Clinic, and Veterinarian questions about Microchips and the Found Animals Registry. We also have Pet Owner and Rescue Group FAQs and a library of Microchip Resources.

Microchip Basics

  • Are microchips effective in getting lost pets home?
    Yes! Microchips are effective in getting lost pets home. A recent study of animal shelter intake showed that microchipped dogs are 2.4 times more likely to be reunited with their families and microchipped cats are 21.4 times more likely to make it home. While microchips have incredible potential for getting lost pets home, the chip itself is only one component in a technology system involving microchips, scanners, and registries. All components of the system have to work together to ensure a happy reunion for a lost pet.
  • How many brands and frequencies of microchip are there in the U.S.?
    There are almost too many brands of microchips on the U.S. market to keep track of every company. And, just knowing the brand of a microchip will not tell you its frequency because several U.S. companies have distributed more than one frequency of microchip over the years. It’s confusing. The good news is that across all of the many brands there are only three frequencies of microchip.

    The three frequencies are 125 kHz, 128kHz, and 134.2 kHz. While the lower frequency chips used to dominate the U.S. market, nearly all manufacturers have now switched to the 134.2 kHz chip, which is the international (ISO) standard. The majority of all chips now sold in the U.S. are ISO standard 134.2 kHz chips, the same frequency used in Europe and most of the rest of the world. You can tell you have an ISO Standard chip by its 15 digit number.

    Found Animals, Datamars, Home Again, AKC, 24PetWatch, and most other microchip companies now exclusively offer ISO Standard 134.2 kHz chips. Only AVID continues to distribute a non-ISO Standard chip in the U.S. (125 kHz).
  • What is the recommended microchip frequency?
    The International Standards Organization, or ISO, has approved and recommended a global standard for microchips - 134.2 kHz. In addition to being the ISO Standard frequency, 134.2 kHz chips are recommended by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).
  • How do I determine if my scanners read all frequencies of microchip?
    All U.S. scanner distributors now offer universal scanner models that read all three frequencies of microchip in circulation in the United States (125 kHz, 128kHz, 134.2 kHz). Unfortunately, however, some distributors still offer scanner models that do not read all three frequencies of microchip. Further, some animal care facilities continue to use older model scanners that are not universal. If your organization’s scanners do not read all three frequencies, you are are missing microchips!

    To make matters worse, you can’t tell by looking at the outside of a scanner which frequencies it reads. In fact, sometimes two scanners can look exactly the same but one will be universal and read all three frequencies of microchip and the other will not be universal and will miss some microchips. The only way to know if your scanners are universal is to test them! Found Animals can assist you with scanner testing. Please contact us at microchipsales@found.org for more information.
  • How do I find out where a microchip is registered?
    Do not assume that a microchip will be registered with the company that manufactured the chip. All U.S. registries will register any brand of microchip. An Avid chip can be registered with Home Again. A Home Again chip can be registered with 24PetWatch. This means that many microchips are "cross registered," and any and all combinations of manufacturer and registry exist. This may happen because a pet owner likes the pricing and features of one registry better than another, or because a pet that was originally chipped by a facility using one brand of chip has since been re-homed by a shelter using a different company. Regardless, if you are only checking the manufacturer’s registry, you are missing microchip registrations.

    The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) operates a free, online Pet Microchip Lookup tool that makes it easy to check multiple registries for the most current microchip registration information. While not all U.S. registries participate, most do and the AAHA Pet Microchip Lookup tool is the closest thing we have to a universal registry. We recommend that you start all microchip searches using this tool.

    Follow the instructions below or watch our video tutorial on How to Use the AAHA Pet Microchip Lookup Tool.

    1. Visit www.petmicrochiplookup.org.
    2. Enter the pet’s microchip number in the search bar at the top of the page and click "Submit". If the chip is registered with a participating registry, the tool will provide you with contact information for the registry (be patient, the search takes a few seconds).
    3. The results will show you the entire registration history of that chip with participating organizations. The most recent registration will be listed first. Each registration listed will also show the date it was last updated.
    4. If one or more registrations are found, follow up on them starting with the most recent and work backwards. Contact the registry listed to get in touch with the pet owner. This contact and reunification process will vary by registry.
    5. If no pet owner information is on file with a participating registry, the Pet Microchip Lookup tool will tell you who manufactured the pet’s chip. Call the chip manufacturer as they may have more information or be able to connect you with the organization that implanted the chip.

    If a microchip is registered with the Found Animals Registry, you can start a Found Pet Alert® online or call our 24 hour Found Pet Hotline at 855-PET-CHIP (855-738-2447). Please note that using the online search from your Found Animals Registry Shelter/Veterinarian Account is the preferred, and by far the fastest, way to access pet owner information and start Found Pet Alerts®.
  • How do I make sure I’ve done everything possible to find and contact the owner of a microchipped pet?
    Unfortunately, the U.S. does not yet have a universal microchip registry service. In addition, since all U.S. registries accept any brand of microchip, many chips are "cross registered" with a company other than the company that manufactured the chip. This means extra work to explore all of the possibilities before declaring a microchip dead end.

    Here is the process Found Animals recommends to leave no stone unturned in the search for owner information:

    1. Search the chip in the AAHA Pet Microchip Lookup tool. (Detailed instructions in previous FAQ.)
    2. If one or more registrations are found in AAHA, follow up on them starting with the most recent and work backwards.
    3. If no pet owner information is on file with a participating registry, the Pet Microchip Lookup tool will tell you who manufactured the pet’s chip. Call the chip manufacturer as they may have more information or be able to connect you with the organization that implanted the chip.
    4. Since Avid and 24PetWatch do not currently participate in the AAHA Pet Microchip Lookup tool, you should contact them independently to see if they have owner contact information for the chip (even if it’s not an Avid or 24PetWatch chip).

    We know it’s a lot of work, and harder than it should be. But until the U.S. develops and requires a truly universal registry, this is what it takes to get lost pets home. And we think that the joy of a happy reunion is worth the effort!
  • What can my organization do to maximize the potential of microchips?
    Microchips may seem complicated, but they really do have so much potential to get lost pets home and relieve the burden on overcrowded and under-resourced shelters. We’ve boiled all the microchip best practices down to four key things that your organization can do to maximize the potential of microchips in your community and all over the country.

    1. Purchase ISO standard microchips: 134.2 kHz (15 digit).
    2. Use only universal scanners that read all three frequencies of microchip (125kHz, 128kHz, 134.2kHz) and train your staff on proper scanning technique.
    3. Demand that your provider participate in the AAHA Microchip Lookup tool – and use it as the first place you search microchips.
    4. Register all microchipped pets leaving your organization and educate pet owners about keeping registration current.

    For a more detailed version of microchip best practices, read this article we recently wrote for the Southern California Vet Medical Association Newsletter.
  • How can I learn more about all things microchip?
    In case you haven’t figured it out already, the team at Found Animals is passionately nerdy about microchips! If you have microchip questions that aren’t covered here, we host a live weekly webinar where we cover how to maximize microchips in your facility, an introduction to the features of the Found Animals Registry, plus Q&A for all of your burning questions. Visit our Eventbrite page for more information on upcoming webinar times and how to register to attend (don’t worry, it's FREE). You can also browse our library of Microchip Resources.

Found Animals Registry

  • How do I get owner contact information and start a Found Pet Alert® for a microchip registered in the Found Animals Registry?
    We recommend starting all microchip searches by using the AAHA Pet Microchip Lookup tool at www.petmicrochiplookup.org. The tool will search multiple participating registries and tell you if the chip is registered with any of them. Once you have determined that the chip is registered with Found Animals, there are online and phone options for how to proceed. Please note that the online search from your Found Animals Registry Shelter/Veterinarian Account is the preferred, and by far the fastest, way to access pet owner information and start Found Pet Alerts®.

    Online - if you have a Shelter/Veterinarian Account with the Found Animals Registry

    Follow the steps below or watch a video tutorial on How to Start a Found Pet Alert® from a Shelter/Veterinarian Account.

    1. Log in to your Found Animals Registry account using the middle “Already Registered” box on the right hand side of our home page. Be sure to check the "Shelter/Veterinarian" option and remember that your user name is an email address.
    2. Click "Found Pet Alerts®" in the menu on the left side of the page.
    3. Enter the pet’s microchip number (and verify it), then click "Submit".
    4. Confirm that the pet information and description are a match to the pet you scanned.
    5. Make a note of owner contact information if you would like to do direct outreach - you can print the screen or copy and paste the information into your animal management system.
    6. Click "Send Notification" to start automated Found Pet Alerts®. Within fifteen minutes of starting a Found Pet Alert®, the Found Animals Registry will automatically contact the pet owner and any emergency contacts via phone, text, and email with information on how to pick up the pet at your location. These alerts will continue for four days unless turned off by your staff or the pet owner.
    7. If you have any difficulty with the online process, please call our 24-hour Found Pet Hotline at 855-PET-CHIP (855-738-2447).

    Online - if you DO NOT have a Shelter/Veterinarian Account with the Found Animals Registry

    Follow the steps below or watch a video tutorial on How to Start a Found Pet Alert® as an Individual or Rescue Group.

    1. Enter the pet’s microchip number (and verify it) in our online Found Pet Alert® tool and click “Submit”.
    2. Fill in the form with your contact information. Required fields are marked with an asterisk. This information will be provided to the registered pet owner so that they can contact you to pick up their pet. Click “Submit” when you are finished to start a Found Pet Alert®.
    3. Within minutes of starting a Found Pet Alert®, the Found Animals Registry will automatically contact the pet owner and any emergency contacts via phone, text, and email with information on how to pick up the pet at your location. These alerts will continue for four days unless turned off by the pet owner.
    4. If you have problems with the online process, please call our 24-hour Found Pet Hotline at 855-PET-CHIP (855-738-2447).

    Phone - if you do not have access to the internet

    Call our 24-hour Found Pet Hotline at 855-PET-CHIP (855-738-2447). The operator will collect your information and start the notification process.
  • How do I create a Shelter/Veterinarian Account to access owner information in the Found Animals Registry?
    Follow the steps below to create a Shelter/Veterinarian Account. You can also watch a video tutorial Found Animals Registry Overview for Shelters and Veterinarians.

    1. Start here and fill in all of your organization’s contact information. Required fields are marked with an asterisk. This is the information that will be provided to pet owners using Found Pet Alerts® so that they can pick up their lost pet. Click “Save” at the bottom of the page when you are done.
    2. On the next page you will be notified that Found Animals is reviewing your account request. Once approved, you will receive an email with instructions on how to log into your account. Account approval typically happens within 24-48 hours.
  • Why do I have to wait for Found Animals to approve my Shelter/Veterinarian Account?
    A Shelter/Veterinarian account on the Found Animals Registry gives your organization access to private pet owner information. We respect the privacy of our pet owners and need to review your account request and verify that your organization is involved in lost pet reunification before granting access.
  • How do I log into my Shelter/Veterinarian Account?
    1. Log in to your Found Animals Registry account using the middle “Already Registered” box on the right hand side of our home page. Be sure to check the “Shelter/Veterinarian” option and remember that your user name is an e-mail address.
    2. Once you have logged in, click “Found Pet Alerts®” from the menu on the left side of the screen to search microchips in the Found Animals Registry.
  • I forgot my password. How can I log in?
    Follow these steps to reset your password, or watch our How to Reset a Forgotten Password video tutorial.

    1. Click the red “Forgot Your Password?” link at the bottom of the “Already Registered” login box on the right side of our homepage.
    2. Select the user type “Shelter/Veterinarian
    3. Enter the email address that you used as your username when you set up your account.
    4. You will receive an email at that email address with a link to update your password.
    5. Click on the link in the email and you will be taken to a page where you can create a new password.
    6. Once you have created a new password, visit our homepage and log into your account using the “Already Registered” box on the right side of the page. Be sure to choose the “Shelter/Veterinarian” user type.
  • How can I change my username or password?
    Follow the steps below or watch our video tutorial on How to Change Your Username or Password.

    1. To update your username or password, log into your account and select “My Profile” from the menu on the left side of the page.
    2. Now click “edit” underneath the section titled “Username and Password”.
    3. If you only want to change your username, you only need to fill in the field titled “New Username/New Email” and click “Submit” to save your changes.
    4. If you only want to change your password, you only need to fill in the three fields titled “Current Password”, “New Password”, and “Confirm New Password” and click “Submit” to save your changes.
    5. If you would like to change both your username and password, you need to fill out all of the fields EXCEPT “Alternate Email” and click “Submit” to save your changes.
  • What is a Found Pet Alert®?
    Found Pet Alerts® are at the heart of how Found Animals Registry is revolutionizing lost pet reunification. With one click, a Found Pet Alert® allows you to alert pet owners that you have their lost pet. Within minutes of starting a Found Pet Alert®, the Found Animals Registry will automatically contact the pet owner and any emergency or rescue contacts via phone, text, and email with information on how to pick up the pet at your location. Found Pet Alerts® will go out to as many as 12 different points of contact multiple times for each pet, maximizing the chances of reunification. Since you can start a Found Pet Alert® online 24/7, there is no more waiting on hold to retrieve pet owner information. And, you do not need to leave messages and play phone tag with pet owners - the registry does all the work for you. Found Pet Alerts® will continue for up to four days or until the alert is turned off by either your organization or the pet owner.

    If your local ordinances require you to send a letter to the pet owner, you will need to do that separately.
    Found Pet Alerts® Cascade
  • How do I start a Found Pet Alert®?
    1. Log into your Found Animals Registry account using the middle “Already Registered” box on the right hand side of our home page. Be sure to check the “Shelter/Veterinarian” option and remember that your user name is an e-mail address. (If your facility does not yet have a Shelter/Veterinarian Account, please see “How do I get owner contact information and start a Found Pet Alert® for a microchip registered with Found Animals Registry?” above.)
    2. Click "Found Pet Alerts®" in the menu on the left side of the page.
    3. Enter the pet’s microchip number (and verify it), then click “Submit”.
    4. Confirm that the pet information and description are a match to the pet you scanned.
    5. Make a note of owner contact information if you would like to do direct outreach - you can print the screen or copy and paste the information into your animal management system.
    6. Click "Send Notification" to start automated Found Pet Alerts®. Within minutes of starting a Found Pet Alert®, the Found Animals Registry will automatically contact the pet owner and any emergency contacts via phone, text, and email with information on how to pick up the pet at your location. These alerts will continue for four days unless turned off by your staff or the pet owner.
    7. If you have any difficulty with the online process, please call our 24-hour Found Pet Hotline at 855-PET-CHIP (855-738-2447).
  • How can I check that an owner has been contacted by a Found Pet Alert®?
    A record of Found Pet Alerts® can be accessed when you are logged into your Shelter/Veterinarian Account. Select the “Alerts Log” option from the menu on the left side of the page. Each pet who has had an alert triggered from your account will be listed in the log. Click on the pet’s name to see timestamps for all phone calls, texts, and emails to the pet owner and any emergency contacts. You may print this log for your records.
  • How do I turn off a Found Pet Alert®?
    1. Log into your Found Animals Registry account using the middle “Already Registered” box on the right hand side of our home page. Be sure to check the “Shelter/Veterinarian” option.
    2. Select “Alerts Log” from the menu on the left side of the page.
    3. Locate the pet’s name or microchip number in the list of alerts and click “Turn Off” next to that pet.
    4. If applicable, select a reason for turning off the alert.
    5. Click “Turn Off” to stop the Found Pet Alerts®
  • What happens if I don’t turn off a Found Pet Alert®?
    If you do not turn off a Found Pet Alert®, the Found Animals Registry will continue to call, text, and email the pet owner and any emergency contacts for up to four days.
  • Can my organization batch upload microchip registrations?
    Yes. Found Animals Registry offers several options for batch uploading registrations including file export and automated software connections. Specific details will depend on which animal management software you use and how it is configured. Please contact microchipsales@found.org and a member of our team will reach out to discuss solutions for your organization.

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