Identification for companion animals is essential to facilitate successful reunification with its family when lost.
Animal Humane Society believes that a collar and tag is the primary form of ID and the most effective means of identification. A collar and tag allows the general public to be a front line participant in reunification, avoiding a stay in a humane society or animal control facility.
It is recommended that tags are engraved with the family surname and a minimum of two phone number options.
A secondary form of identification is recommended and acts as an important backup measure. A microchip provides a permanent, implanted means of identifying a pet. A microchip requires that the pet's family maintain their registration and that a scanner is available to identify the presence of a chip and the associated information. These are limiting factors that result in microchips recommended as a secondary option.
Emerging technology includes mobile phone applications that use animal facial recognition. This tool requires registration with your personal information and a photo of your pet. The app supports direct reunification by people using the app. Limitations are associated with critical mass in communities being aware of and using the app.
Collars with imbedded tracking mechanisms can be effective but may be cost prohibitive.