It can happen in so many ways: an open door, an unlocked gate, a romp off-lead in a field. In a split second, your pet can go missing. Sometimes a pet finds its way home on its own. More often, though, a lost pet remains lost. The main cause: lack of identification. You can greatly increase your chances of finding your wandering pet by making sure it has identification at all times. The standard collar and identification tag are a must. But you should also consider the added insurance of a modern microchip, a permanent identification technique that successfully reunites hundreds of pets and owners every year.

The microchip
A microchip is an invisible form of identification.  The chips are the size of a grain of rice and contain a unique ISO standard number.  This number is recognised world-wide.  The chip is implanted under the skin between the pet’s neck and shoulder.  A special scanner can then read the number right through the animal’s skin.  When your pet is microchipped, the number is registered with a database that is manned 24 hours a day to help reunite you with your pet.  Nowadays, when a lost pet is brought to a veterinarian, pound, or animal shelter, it is automatically scanned.  The number is checked against a computerized registration database, and the listed owner is contacted immediately.  As with an identification tag, it is important to keep contact information current with the database.  There is no harm in outfitting your pet in the belt-and- suspenders combination of tag and microchip.  You can even put an additional tag on your pet to say that it has been microchipped.

Pet passport scheme
It is mandatory to have animals implanted with microchips for the pet passport scheme and for registration with the Irish kennel club.  A pet passport allows dogs and cats to be taken abroad to participating countries and return to Ireland without going through quarantine.  Once your pet is microchipped, you can apply for a pet passport, which looks much like a human passport.  There is even space for a picture! When a pet is travelling by passport, the microchip is scanned to make sure passport and pet match. (In addition to the microchip, your pet must have current vaccinations and any required follow-up blood tests.)  Your veterinarian will be happy to provide you with all specific travel requirements.

One problem that is regularly encountered with found microchipped pets brought to dog pounds, animal shelters, and veterinary surgeries is incorrect contact information on the database or the microchip is not registered.  Registering the microchip is the responsibility of the owner.  If you have purchased a purebred puppy that is microchipped, make sure that you send in the change of registration form into the Irish Kennel Club.  This will automatically change the microchip details into your name. If your dog is microchipped, and you are not sure if the chip is registered, you can bring your dog into your vet to scan the chip and check the database. As it is a requirement for all dogs advertised on www.pedigreedogs.ie to be IKC / KC London registered, and in order to register a dog with the IKC you have to microchip before application can be considered, we would like to bring to your attention some of the relevant bodies / organisations that we feel may be worth signing up to, to ensure that if your dog is lost and then found, you increase the chance of you being contacted re the same.

Fido.ie is actively building strong relationships with animal welfare organisations, local authorities and veterinary surgeons to ensure that it is the main reference point for the recovery of lost pets. www.fido.ie continues to develop key relationships with individuals and organizations in the animal welfare and recovery fields. The stored information relating to your registered microchip number is maintained on a database in the greater Dublin area and this information, which will include your address and contact phone numbers, will be provided to pre-approved organisations in the event of them locating your microchip.

We understand just how worrying it can be to lose a pet and that is why we encourage owners to properly identify all their pets, whether it is a dog, cat, rabbit or horse, so that, when found, they can be returned to you as quickly as possible. As a pet owner, you have a legal requirement to ensure that your pet is under your control and that includes proper identification with a suitable collar and tag. In some cases, these can come astray and a microchip is vital as a permanent form of identification that will be in place for life.

IKC-Animark is the largest pet microchip database in Ireland . This is on hand 24 hours a day to authorised bodies such as dog wardens or animal welfare centres, who can scan the chips in found animals and trace their owners via the IKC-Animark database. IKC-Animark provides a wide range of services for owners of microchipped animals. Browse through this site to find out more.

What is PetTrace?  PetTrace is a national computerised pet recovery network which facilitates the return of lost or stolen animals through the use of a small microchip or tag. It is a permanent and invisible way of identifying your pet.

How does it work?
All your pet’s microchip details and your contact details will be added to the PetTrace database. If your pet goes missing and is brought to the Dublin SPCA, a Vet’s, Gardai, another animal shelter or Dog pound they will always scan to see if the animal has been microchipped.  If a microchip is found they will search for your contact information so that your pet can be returned to you.

When you register your pet on the PetTrace database you will also get a collar tag, which your pet should wear. This tag displays a PIN number along with a phone number to call if the animal is found. The PIN number can also be used to gain the pet owners details from and eliminates the need for the pet to be scanned for the microchip.

We will also take a secondary contact so if you are on holidays and cannot be contact the secondary person will be contacted so you don’t have to worry about being out of reach! The Dublin SPCA offers a microchipping service to the public in our shelter from Monday to Friday by appointment at a low cost rate. Your details will automatically be entered into the PetTrace database as part of this service. Your Vet will also microchip your pet for you but will not be able to register your pet in PetTrace so you need to register your pet.

Petlog is the UK’s largest pet microchipping database looking after your pet 24/7, 365 days a year. Our lost pet microchip database supports the details of over 4.2 million microchipped pets and their owners. Last year we assisted with over 108,000 lost & found calls from vets, police and animal wardens – all working to get your lost pets safely back home