This year already Lost Dogs Illinois has partnered with several groups to offer free vaccines, microchips, collars and leashes and engraved ID tags. We pride ourselves in helping to preserve the human-animal bond.
April, 2017 – LDI partnered with Garrido Stray Rescue Foundation and Realtors to the Rescue to offer Free microchips and engraved ID tags to over 120 dogs and cats at the 16th Chicago Police District.
May 13, 2017 – LDI partnered with the Chicago Wolves to provide free services to over 535 dogs and cats at the McGuane Park, Chicago.
May 21st LDI along with One Tail at a Time and Alive Rescue offered free services to over 350 dogs and cats in the South Lawndale area.
Lost Dogs Illinois also offered 50 free microchips each to Whiteside County Animal Control and Lee County Animal Control for their low cost microchip clinics in May and June.
To round off our spring events, LDI attended Pawberry Lane Open House in April to provide free microchip scans.
LDI provided free microchip scans at the Humane Society of Aurora in May.
Thanks to Perfect Pooches rescue Lost Dogs Illinois was able to share a booth with them at the Paws on Route 66 in Joliet.
Please continue to support Lost Dogs Illinois and their mission by making a tax-deductible donation
Click here: https://lostdogsillinois.org/support-ldi/
In the past, before the advent of today’s technology, the internet and social media, we had few options when it came to looking for a lost pet. Putting up flyers around the neighborhood and checking the local shelters were among the few choices available.
Along with the obvious options of microchipping, purchasing ID tags, even getting your pet tattooed, there are also methods or ensuring you’re reunited with your pet should they become lost. When inserting a microchip, make sure it’s properly registered and keep the information current if you happen to move, change your phone number or other contact data. Especially if you lose your dog, be sure to contact the chip provider and ensure the info is correct.
Keeping this in mind, here are some other ways to help ensure you’ll be reunited with your pet should they become lost or stolen:
For animal lovers, many of us post pictures of our pets online and this could be helpful if they go missing. Keeping your online friends informed about the connection between you and your dog could come in handy if you reach out to them to help locate your pet.
Again, back in the old days, when a pet went missing one of the first things we did was post flyers around our community notifying our neighbors of their absence. This is still one of the most successful methods of finding a lost animal, but think about using the internet to spread the word online as well.
Many of our email and text contacts are friends and family that live nearby. Send a post to them with a picture of your pet and ask for their assistance. Then request they forward this message to their nearby friends and family. This way your message has the potential of reaching hundreds or even thousands of other recipients.
Other Avenues To Explore
Speaking of the internet, don’t forget other options like checking out the Lost Dogs of America website. Here you can put a online listing about the loss of your pet and check to see if someone has posted they have found your dog. They’ll also provide you with a free flyer and list it on one of their individual Facebook pages according to State.
Thank you Amber Kingsley for your article contribution.
At the Pullman Area Free Pet Health Fair (Saturday, 9/24th) approximately 356 dogs and cats received a personally engraved IG tag donated by Lost Dogs Illinois. As each dog left the clinic, their tag was attached to their new collar. They also received free vaccines, microchips which were registered to the owner at implant. Food, toys, collars and leashes were also donated. Thanks to the Chicago Wolves organization for sponsoring this clinic.The Chicago Wolves . Lost Dogs Illinois would like give a special shout out to Realtors to the Rescue who have generously donated over $5,000 to LDI this year to allow us to participate in these events. These various free services reached over 380 dogs and cats.
For us to continue this kind of program, a small donation of $10.00 will purchase an ID tag and a collar/leash. You can donate by clicking here. https://www.lostdogsillinois.org/support-ldi/donate/
These series of photos say it all……
Last Saturday in sizzling heat of 90 degrees-plus, approximately 100 dogs and a couple of cats received free vaccinations, microchips with free lifetime registration, flea and tick products, Martingale collars, leashes and an engraved ID tag that was promptly attached to each pet’s collar. Thirty-five volunteers from other organizations and Lost Dogs Illinois partnered together to work with North Chicago Animal Control.
Lost Dogs Illinois is one of the first organizations in the state dedicated to preserving the human/animal bond. We believe people want to do right by their animals. When you bring affordable services and resources to a community, they will come. So in that tone, we think these pictures says it all……
Photo credits….Amy K.
Lost Dogs Illinois and Realtors to the Rescue of Homeless Animals teamed to offer free microchip scanning at Chicago’s annual “Bark in the Park” celebration to benefit the Anti-Cruelty Society. Scores of “Bark” dogs and their owners, including many who walked the official 5K course on Lake Shore Drive, stopped by the LDI/RTTR booth to verify that their dogs’ chips were active and properly registered.
“One of the challenges of microchipping is that there are now at least 15 companies offering the product, and not everyone knows which company produced their pet’s chip,” LDI founder Susan Taney said.
“In addition, shelters, pet stores, veterinary clinics, animal hospitals – everyone has a different policy for registering the chip,” Taney continued. “Some will complete the paperwork and submit the registration for the pet owner. Some rely on the owner submitting the paperwork. Some chip companies don’t even keep track of to whom the chip is registered. So it’s always good for a pet owner to know exactly what he or she has purchased, and how it can help a lost pet return home.”
Booth visitors who took advantage of the free service thanked LDI and RTTR repeatedly for offering this kind of help. Even better, a number of dog owners said the service reminded them they needed to update the contact information on their chip registries.
“We changed our dog’s name after we adopted her, but we forgot to contact the chip company,” one woman said. “We’ll do that right away now.”
“We’ve moved recently but the chip still has our old address, in New York!” another woman said. “Wow, we’ve got to change that fast.”
Taney and RTTR member Suzy Thomas indicated afterwards they would like their two organizations to collaborate on similar events in the future that can raise the public’s awareness of the importance of microchipping their pets and making sure they wear ID tags with correct contact information.
“It’s all about doing what you can to protect the human-animal bond,” Taney said.
by Lydia Rypcinski
What happens when a City funded animal control (City of Chicago Animal Care and Control), notfor profit organization (Lost Dogs Illinois) and a professional hockey team (Chicago Wolves) join together? They put on a Free Health Fair! Over 300 residents dogs and cats received FREE microchips, vaccines and ID engraved tags. Working together keeps families together!
Microchips are a wonderful tool in lost pet recovery, resulting in thousands of successful reunions each year. But since many microchip companies compete in the same marketplace, it can be difficult to quickly identify the microchip brand.
- If you do have internet access, a useful tool is the AAHA Microchip Look up tool.
- If you don’t have internet access, keep this microchip guide from Petlink nearby. It shows the unique identifying format of the top microchip companies with the corresponding toll-free number to call.
Print and keep this guide handy with your scanner so that you can quickly get a lost pet back to his/her family.
The reverse side shows the Keys to Effect Scanning. Follow these directions to make sure you don’t miss a microchip!
Thank you to Petlink for this useful guide to help more lost pets get home!
Here is the pdf file of the guide: PetLink Microchip Guide_New_2016
UPDATE – Since we wrote this article, 24 Petwatch has now begun to participate in the AAHA database. AVID is now the only large microchip company that does not participate.
Your microchipped lost pet has been picked up and turned into a vet or shelter. He should be home quickly, correct? Well…. not so fast. In Part 1, we explained how the 900 prefix chips are very difficult to identify, thereby delaying or preventing a successful reunion. We also explained how sticking with one of the Big 5 microchip companies was the best chance your lost pet has to get home.
In this section, we’ll discuss the different microchip databases and how to navigate them. Each of the Big 5 microchip companies (PetLink, Home Again, AKC Reunite, 24 Petwatch and AVID) maintain their own databases. When a pet is microchipped and enrolled the information is stored in their database (a fee may be required). Each of these Big 5 companies also has a unique prefix making it fairly easy to identify the manufacturer of the chip if your vet or shelter has a “cheat sheet” like this handy.
No one will dispute that microchips can be a valuable tool in helping reunite lost dogs and cats with their owners. In our day-to-day work at Lost Dogs Illinois, we have seen many cases where microchips have resulted in wonderful homecoming stories and may have possibly even saved the dog’s life. But there are many cracks in the current microchip system and we would like to express some of our concerns in this next series of articles.
A microchip is a small chip (about the size of a grain of rice) inserted under the skin between the shoulder blades of the dog or cat. Microchips do not locate a missing pet(they are not GPS-enabled). If a missing pet is picked up and taken to a vet clinic or animal shelter that has a universal scanner and uses best practices for microchip scanning (click here) the data that corresponds to the microchip number can be used to help locate the owner.
One thing we know with absolute certainty. Time is of the essence. Impound fees can quickly rack up. A short stay in an animal shelter can easily set an owner back several hundred dollars. Plus, the longer the pet is in a crowded animal shelter, the more likely he/she is to get stressed and sick. A looming vet bill on top of the reclaim fees means that many pets will be abandoned at the shelter by the owner who simply cannot afford to pick them up.
The key to a successful reunion once a pet is at a shelter, stray holding facility or vet clinic is the speed with which the owner can be located. Unfortunately, several new microchip providers have entered the market that make it difficult, if not impossible to track down the owner. Illinois blogger, Steve Dale, first wrote about this problem a couple of weeks back in this article in Chicago Now and we would like to thank him for shedding light on the issue.
At Lost Dogs Illinois, we host microchip scanning events throughout the year. We have a universal scanner and can quickly scan owned dogs and provide the owner with their microchip number, the brand of their dog’s microchip and the toll-free number of that company. We can do this because the big 5 microchip companies (PetLink, Home Again, AKC, AVID and 24 Petwatch) all have unique identifying numbers . (eg. all PetLink chips begin with the prefix 981)
The big five microchip companies have been assigned a designated manufacturer’s source code by the International Committee for Animal Recording (ICAR) based on the volume of their sales. When we can identify the microchip company by the prefix, the owner can then call the company or go online to their website and make sure their information is up to date and current. Some companies will charge a fee for this service.
The small microchip companies do not have a designated source code. They share the 900 prefix (shared by over 100 companies worldwide) So, at an event when our scanner pulls up a microchip number that begins with the numbers 900 – we’re left scratching our heads. There are at least six American companies who sell the 900 prefix microchips (made in China) at reduced prices to shelters, vet clinics and rescues. Without an identifying prefix we are not able to determine which brand of microchip is inserted in the pet.
Now consider the found pet brought into a shelter or vet clinic. With a designated prefix that is easily recognizable, shelter staff or vet clinic staff can identify which company the microchip is from and can hopefully make one simple phone call to retrieve the owner’s information. When the system works, a found pet can be home within a few hours of going missing.
When a pet implanted with a 900 prefix microchip is brought in, it is a different matter. Shelter staff, animal control officers and veterinarians and vet staff are busy people. They don’t have time to wade through the quagmire of microchip lookup tools and websites. They don’t have time to email each manufacturer or sit on hold waiting for a customer service representative that may or may not be able to help them. They may have to call all six companies before they get the right one and they may not even realize these companies exist! A couple of the 900-prefix microchip providers come with a collar tag. Kudos to them, but that only helps if the tag is on the collar and/or doesn’t fall off while the pet is missing.
Several of these companies are trying to start their own database; some free, some for a fee. Some have manned call centers, some don’t. One is a “google chip” but if you use any other search engine, it’s useless. Some only allow email contact. Some promise “lifetime registration” but what does that mean if they go out of business? Who has time to sort this all out? Remember, time is of the essence. A microchipped pet may go unclaimed because vet clinic and shelter staff don’t have time to sort through the maze.
This is truly a case of “penny wise and pound foolish”. A few dollars saved on the front end when purchasing microchips can cause heartbreak on the back end. Rescues, shelters and vet clinics trying to save money on their microchips are putting their clients at risk. Unfortunately, the unsuspecting owner who thought they were doing the right thing by microchipping their pet will be the one to suffer.
This troubling screen shot was captured from the website of one of the 900 companies, K9 Microchips. They actually admit that they won’t be responsible for keeping track of who they sold the microchips to. “K9Microchips.com & it’s representatives are in no way obligated to assist anyone in anyway that did not directly do business with K9Microchips.com. We make no promise to keep information on who purchases microchips, nor to document which microchips are shipped to which customers. ”
This same scenario is applicable to most 900 chips. The purchasing organization must do the microchip company’s job and track it back to themselves because they can not rely on the microchip company to keep these records.
U.S. microchip companies that sell the 900 shared manufacturer code (there are over 100 companies worldwide that use the shared code) include:
- Smart Tag (collar tag included)
- Save This Life (collar tag included)
- nanoCHIP (no collar tag)
- K9 Microchip (no collar tag)
- Homeward Bound (no collar tag)
- Petstablished (no collar tag)
Our advice to the microchip consumer and purchasing animal welfare organizations and vets – stick with one of the Big 5 below. Your pet (or your client’s pet) is depending on you to help bring them safely home.
- AKC Reunite
- 24 PetWatch
ONE universal system that everyone participates in is paramount. In our next article we will discuss the issue of the American Animal Hospital Association search engine. Which of the big 5 microchip companies participate? Which don’t? Stay tuned.