Clark County Humane Society

Microchip FAQ

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Here are some of the most frequently asked questions (and answers) about microchipping!

Q:  What is a microchip?

A:  The microchip is a tiny computer chip, approximately the size of a grain of rice, that has an identification number programmed into it. The chip is encased in a smooth, strong biocompatible glass and is small enough to fit into a hypodermic needle. Once an animal is injected with a chip, it can be identified throughout its life with this one of a kind number. The identification cannot be lost or altered.


Q:  What is the benefit of microchipping my pet?

A:  Microchips are permanent identifications that cannot be lost, altered or destroyed. Pet owners have been reunited with their lost, chipped pets that have been missing for years or that have traveled many hundreds of miles.


Q:  How does microchip identification work?

A:  A special scanner is used to send a radio signal to the chip to read the chip’s unique identification number. The animal feels nothing when the scanner is placed over it. The microchip number is displayed on the scanner, along with the phone number for the microchip company.  We use 24PetWatch.


Q:  How is the microchip implanted?

A:  Microchips are implanted with a needle. They are injected beneath the skin in the area between the dog’s shoulder blades. Microchips may not be felt or seen.


Q:  What do I need to bring to the microchip clinic?

A:  Obviously, your pet!  We do ask that dogs are on leashes and cats are in carriers.  Pets need to be under control at all times or may be asked to leave.  The only other thing needed is the information for the registration.  The registration includes your name, address, phone number(s) and email address.  Details about your pet include the breed, color and description and date of birth.  If you don’t know the exact date of birth, an estimate is fine.  You can also list a relative, friend or neighbor as a back-up contact in case you cannot be reached and your pet is lost.  You’ll need that name and phone number.  That’s it!


Q:  Do I have to be from Clark County or the town where you are having the clinic?

A:  No!  We are happy to microchip pets from anywhere.  Our goal is simply to chip as many pets as possible to help ensure their safe return should they ever be lost.


Q:  Does the implant of the microchip hurt my pet?

A:  Although the microchip needle is larger than a typical vaccine needle, the general rule is this… animals will react the SAME way to this shot as they do to any other. Animals do not over react to it. Their physical performance is not impaired and there is no scarring. There is no substance that can burn or irritate; the chip is completely biocompatible and non-offensive.


Q:  Could an animal be allergic to the microchip?

A:  The microchip is inert, smooth and biocompatible. There is virtually no chance of the body developing an allergy or trying to reject the microchip.


Q:  Can the microchip move around once it is implanted in the body?

A:  When properly implanted, a small layer of connective tissue forms around the microchip, preventing movement or migration of the chip.


Q:  If the animal shelter finds a microchip, how will they know who to call?

A:  Animal shelters are finding chips in more and more animals. We are aware of the national registries and routinely contact them to obtain owner information regarding the animal. The shelter then contacts the dog’s owner to advise them their animal has been found.


Q:  I have toy breeds that are tiny, can I still have them implanted?

A:  Absolutely. Puppies and kittens can be chipped as early as six weeks. The same sized microchip and needle are used in animals even smaller than puppies and toy breeds, including mice, baby birds, and even fish!


Q:  Does the microchip work like a GPS device?

A:   No. The chip is a “passive” device, meaning it must be read by the scanner. It does not send out signals.


Q:  Where can I have the microchip implanted?

A:  CCHS is happy to microchip pets during any of our open hours, 12:00 – 3:00 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.  We are also offering Microchipping Clinics through our “Chip For Life” initiative.  Microchipping Clinics are always advertised on our website & facebook page.


Q:  How much does a microchip cost?

A:   CCHS charges just $15.00 for the microchip, tag, and registration. We will register the chip for you, and 24PetWatch will send you a confirmation.  You can make updates to the registration at no cost for the first year.  After the first year, 24PetWatch currently charges an update fee for any changes.


Q:  How do I update information in the registration?

A:   After your pet is chipped, you will be given information regarding how to contact 24PetWatch to update your information. Remember to do this whenever you move or change your address or telephone number.


Q:  Do shelters scan animals for microchips?

A:  Yes, scanning pets for microchips is a standard practice in all good animal shelters. Shelters have reunited pexts that have been lost for years and/or traveled great distances.



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