Combined with a collar and current name tag, a microchip increases the likelihood of a lost pet being safely reunited with its owner. However, even with a microchip scanner, identifying the correct pet recovery registry to contact can be challenging.
To alleviate the guesswork for veterinary hospitals, animal control facilities and shelter staff members, the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) has created the AAHA Universal Pet Microchip Lookup Tool, a free, internet-based resource that assists with microchip identification; helping reunite pets and owners by checking participating pet recovery services’ registries to determine which registry should be contacted. The AAHA Universal Pet Microchip Lookup Tool can be accessed online at www.petmicrochiplookup.org.
“It is in the best interest of everyone in companion animal welfare to reunite lost pets with their owners,” said Janice Trumpeter, DVM, AAHA Deputy Executive Director. “We applaud the unprecedented collaboration by the participating microchipping and pet recovery companies that allowed this resource to become reality.”
The Association has been working with microchipping and pet recovery industry leaders for the past year on the development of this new tool. The participating companies include AKC CAR, HomeAgain, Petlink by Datamars and resQ by Bayer.
The AAHA Universal Pet Microchip Lookup Tool works by checking the databases of participating pet recovery services to determine which has registration information available for a microchip. Once a microchip identification number is entered into the tool, within seconds a list of all the registries with microchip registration information available along with the registries’ contact information will appear in chronological order; the registry with the most recent update appears first.
If the microchip has not been registered with any participating pet recovery service, the result returned will default to the microchip’s manufacturer or distributor. While the tool will not return the pet owner information contained in the registries’ databases, it will identify which registries should be contacted when a lost pet is scanned and a microchip is found.
Since the tool is a work in progress, AAHA will seek continued collaboration from microchip companies as well as implement feedback derived from veterinary hospitals, animal control facilities and shelter staff members.
“The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) absolutely supports the linking of companion animal microchip data bases,” said Larry R. Corry, DVM, AVMA President. “As veterinarians, we see the heartbreak of families posting ‘LOST PET’ signs in our clinics. This new tool has the potential to create a happy ending by quickly reuniting pets and their owners.”
The tool has been unanimously endorsed by the Coalition for Reuniting Pets and Families. Members of the coalition include: AAHA, American Humane Association (AHA), American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), American Society of Veterinary Medical Association Executives (ASVMAE), AVMA, Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), National Federation of Humane Societies (NFHS), and the Society of Animal Welfare Administrators (SAWA).
AAHA and the Coalition for Reuniting Pets and Families encourage all veterinary practices, shelters and animal control facilities to bookmark www.petmicrochiplookup.org, and use it every time a lost pet is scanned.
For more information about the AAHA Universal Pet Microchip Lookup Tool, please visit www.petmicrochiplookup.org or contact Jason Merrihew, AAHA communications coordinator at (720) /963-4479 or firstname.lastname@example.org.