Home Again Pet ID System? You call this appropriate technology?

Is it just me or is this due for the idiot invention of the year award?

HomeAgain® is an advanced pet identification and retrieval system. A microchip the size of a grain of rice with a unique identification code that is implanted between the shoulder blades of your pet. Then your pet needs to be enrolled with the HomeAgain® Pet Recovery Service. HomeAgain® maintains a national database that is available 24-hours daily, 365 days a year. If your pet is ever lost, they can be scanned at animal shelters or veterinary clinics. Your pet’s identification number is called in to HomeAgain® (1-866-PET-ID24), and you are notified immediately.

… For those interested I have a simpler solution. 1) Get your OWN phone number etched onto a $2-5 dog tag 2) Hang it on your pet 3) Send me $10 for saving you from the HomeAgain database fees for life.

OK, so if the pet loses his collar my system doesn’t work but how many people finding a lost pet with no collar are going to SCAN them?

UPDATE: Based on the rather overwhelming support for chips I’m admitting I must be wrong about this.


165 thoughts on “Home Again Pet ID System? You call this appropriate technology?

  1. Back in the days when the family bred show dogs, we routinely had them tattooed and/or nose-printed. Animals are subject to theft, and reputable resellers or consumers (i.e., laboratories) checked IDs. No chips back in the day. Today, you can bet all the show dogs have chips.

    You’re right, a collar and tag is the best hope of return in the stray pet scenario. A good shelter will check for a chip, or so I hope. I guess it depends on whether they’ve got the equipment. A good question to ask the people who are promoting chipping the critter.

    Bottom line: I would be inclined to chip a new pet as part of an intake process, but it’s true that I didn’t chip our current generation of pets.

    One good bit of advice I got a long time ago: put the word REWARD on your pet’s ID tag. Motivates the neighbors…

  2. The scanning they are refering to is an RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) scan. RFID is different from an optical scan like you see at a checkout line, and more like a secrutiy tag attached to products like clothes or electronic media.

    The sneaky ones that cause the alarm to trigger when you are trying to leave the store.

    What I find interesting is that there have already been instances of using this implanted chip technology on people!

    VeriChip Corp. of Delray Beach, Fla., is the only company that I know of with federal approval to implant such chips in people. They have implanted about 2,500 people worldwide with chips the size of a grain of rice under the skin of their upper arms. Yes PEOPLE Like theseMexican Law-Enforcement Workers

    Somthing else to ponder … what do you do if you find a rice grain sized RFID chip in your Moo Shoo Pork?

  3. >>… what do you do if you find a rice grain sized RFID chip in your Moo Shoo Pork?

    Wow, this is news to me Politech. And perhaps more sinister is the question:
    what if you NEVER find the RFID in your Moo Shoo Pork?

  4. We have all 3 of our doggies collared and chipped. Upon checking local animal shelters and hospitals before the chipping, they all have the scanners and use them. So, we didn’t mind the extra 30 to chip and 17 to register if it means returning our beloved pets….collars can be lost and if spending lots of $$ on purebreeds, why not take the extra step?

    • My Shihtzu was stolen om Thanksgiving night, and, though chipped, is still missing. A woman called and said she may have found my dog, ran it over, took it to vet, told the vet it was hers because she was in a hurry to drive a distance home, PAID A HUGE VET FEE, and is driving around with the dog’s ashes in a container. SHE asked ME to describe his collar – MY BAD – I did, and she said “yep, that was him.” Then I asked her for the Vet’s name and the exact location of the accident and she hung up on me! Sick twisted people.
      Collars are removed, chips work with honest people. I want a rice-grain-sized injectable GPS.
      Terfully, QB

  5. OK Alli, I seem to have exaggerated my point. Still I’d be willing to bet that chips have led to so few dog recoveries – if any – that the money would better be spent on a simpler and less invasive technology (stronger collar / tatoo?).

    Now, if the chips allowed geolocation I might change my mind…

    • I actually just started working for one of these recovery companies and I have to say, the biggist issue we have with reuniting pets is outdated information. We can call as many people as possible, but if the phone numbers no longer work , the address is incorrect, we can’t do anything. Every pet recovery happened because some part of the information we have was correct. Even having an active email is important since we automatically send out an email when we create a lost pet or found pet report. Just remember to keep your information updated.

    • Hi there Joe, I used to work in a veterinary hospital. Usually the first thing someone does when the adopt a new pet is take it to the vet to make sure it’s up to date on it’s shots (minimum get it tested for rabies and felv) so this family brings in a cat that they’ve “adopted” (way to old to be just getting it’s kitten shots) suspicious, so we decide to scan it, Sure enough the cat’s been reported stolen! We tell the people they cannot have the cat back and call it’s rightful owners. IT WORKS! it’s mainly to keep animals from being stolen not so much to stop them from running away. Plus I have a black cat if someone found him there’s no telling him from any other black cat that’s why I have him micro chipped. and btw dude you can have an animal scanned at any vet, kennel or humane society so yes unless they are STUPID! anyone who finds a lost pet without a collar probably will go and have it scanned, I know that’s the first thing I do.

  6. I just got my Cat chipped; First of all, its cool. Second of all, I know that if he ever gets lost and ends up at the pound or the vet the first thing they will do is scan for the chip.

    Also, my cat claws off any collar. I think it is a great idea.

  7. I got my dog chipped… they got lost and then sold by the animal shelter to a family in a motor home… they were a purebreed showdog

  8. I foster dogs for a dog rescue in Maryland. Most vets and shelters that I have dealt with scan incoming lost dogs for chips routinely. “Lost” dogs do not always have a collar on them. It is very frequent that a dogs slips it’s collar, or a collar breaks while on lead. We have all of our fostered dogs chipped and registered to the rescue orginzation.

    Also – Most puppy-millers (people who breed dogs in unethically large numbers) will chip their dogs as a means of identification, similar to cattle rfid tags. They do not register them, but they use the id# as a way to keep track of their invetory. Most dogs in pet stores are from puppy-mills, and are therefore already chipped. Make sure your vet scans your dog for existing chips before sticking another one in there.

    About 80% of the dogs that come into our rescue are already chipped, but unregistered.

  9. I need to find what vet would implaint a chip in our young bloodhound puppy and how much does one of these chips cost to implaint

  10. Wow, I’m still not sure I think this is a great idea but it sure has generated a lot of comments in support of chips.

    Richard – I have no idea about how to get a chip but I’m sure your local Vet can help.

  11. We got our dog chipped. The City requires it if you want to get a permanent license (a lot cheaper than a yearly one & needed for dog parks!).

    But the main reason is once she slipped out of the backyard because someone forgot to close the gate & she wasn’t wearing her collar (I had just been training her and took the nylon training collar off). We were frantic. 2 students found her, took her to the pound, and it took 2 days for them to get her on their books and posted. If she had had a chip, we would have gotten a call immediately. And, it costs a lot more to get your dog back if she/he is not chipped.

  12. Home Again has returned over 3 million pets. Its not just a chip, its an organized amber alerting process.

    Dogs loose collars. Maybe when your dog runs out of the house they arent wearing a collar. A dog will never loose its chips.

    Its an absolute great idea for owners who want to ensure they have the best means of finding their lost dog.

    • i have my yorkie registered with home again i reported him lost or stolen recently called to see if they found him oh a vet scanned him and his new owner wants the chip in her name so we were going to notify you when she filled out the paper work chip works great home again not so much

  13. Yup, pet ID chips work. My sister’s dog was identified and returned to her through the HomeAgain system. All the shelters and animal rescue groups in my area have scanners and routinely scan incoming animals for chips. All 3 of my cats are chipped, even though they’re indoor cats. $50 per cat (includes registration fee) buys a lot of peace-of-mind.

  14. I’m a police detective-turned-PET detective and I can testify to the importance and effectiveness of microchipping pets. I have a rather unique perspective on the topic of microchips. I compare microchips to VIN (vehicle identification numbers) that are embedded in all vehicles. The license plates on automobiles and motorcycles can be removed (i.e. when our car is stolen). In the same manner, a collar with an ID tag can slip off accidentally or be purposely removed (i.e. by someone who decides they want to keep the Chihuahua they “found”). But the VIN (serial) number located on our vehicles (hidden in more than one location on your car that law enforcement knows, but car theives and chop shops do not) is a similiar concept to having an embedded microchip in your pet. And in the case of theft, a microchip is proof positive of OWNERSHIP in case someone actually steals your pet or for cases where someone FOUND your Chihuahua but takes off the collar you put on the dog because they decide that THEY will be a better caretaker than YOU were. I talk to pet owners on a daily basis who have lost a pet and I can tell you that this (people keeping found pets in the name of “rescue”) happens more often than you’d like to think! The bottom line is this: we do a better job of registering, reporting as lost/stolen, recovering, and returning to owners STOLEN CARS AND GUNS than we do lost/stolen pets. Microchipping is a step in the right direction…just ask your vet!

  15. I can only think of one way to sum up this
    What’s interesting to me is the more I read the more
    I find this blog (post) so helpful, but thats only
    my opinion. Each to there own thing I say…..

  16. Dear Duck,
    I have used a HomeAgain chip in all of my pets since it became available. They have had it in for years with no ill effects whatsoever. Furthermore, a simple, painless injection places the chip into the pet, unlike tattooing. My vet informed me that ALL animal shelters and veterinary clinics are given FREE scanners by HomeAgain. I have been shown personally how it works and it is a magnificent device, especially for those of us who have pets who can get out of any collar that has been invented (trust me, I’ve tried them all). In closing, no amount of money could replace the love I, myself and others have for their pets! It is worth the money, peace of mind and much more!

  17. Dear Joe,
    I just got the microchip in my purebreed collie and I feel so much better that if he did get lost or stolen, it is a guarantee find by shelters or a vet. My husband is a national celebrity, well-known for his comedy and shows, and when I walk my dog around town people stop me, pet my dog and ask questions continuously about my husband. So my fear is that my dog may someday not be in my backyard the next time I let him in the house. So if being a little negative or apprehsive about new technology, especially when it comes to a loved one such as a pet, listen to people and think it through about the outcome or the main reason the microchip is there – home recovery. Your point is well taken with the financial part of it, but who doesn’t spend around $50.00 on an article of clothing, dinner out, or drinks at a restaurant when you can have peace of mind that you will see your pet again.

  18. Get a thinking cap and put it on please…

    Appropriate Technology? HELLO, you’re referring to relying on a DOG COLLAR to keet the tag on the dog. Collars come off if snagged on a tree or brush, and are taken off by those who steal animals and or let them out of fenced yards
    just to be unkind. A collar on a dog is not a saftey measure.

    Chipping an animal under the skin where it can’t accidentially come off or be removed out of meanness is a way better investment that slamming it even though its pricier than a fancy collar at many vets…

    . In MN where I live having a micr chip means an animal can’t be sold into research, can’t be sold into the slaughter market (given to either of those purposes either) and can’t be killed at an impound or HS without the express and written permission of the owner registerd on to the micro chip…

  19. Can you send me my recent registration email for my Lady Nina because I apparently deleted it before I complied with your request. April 24, 2007 was date chip was activated. Thanks.

  20. Pingback: Chip your pet? Why not chip yourself? « Joe Duck

  21. instead of joe duck ..you should be joe quack. if over 400000 reunited pets isnt ” alot of pets” then what is? if those pets in katrina had been chipped and registered…do you think they would be sitting in shelters waiting for adoption or euthanized?? NOOOOOO they would be home with their owners. dont make blatent stupid comments on something you know nothing about

  22. Our dogs are chipped and registered with Home Again. It recently came to our attention that Home Again changed our information without notifying us so one of our (we thought) registered dogs currently comes up as unregistered (specifically – invalid microchip number). Having a heck of a time trying to straighten this out. Wonder how many other people only think their pets are properly registered. In view of this incompetence I love the fact that they are now marketing a higher level service which involves an annual fee (as opposed to the previous one time fee).

    • I see some things NEVER change. Two years plus the same things are happening. I have learned first hand that they can not be bothered with your PETS! I have also learned that some vets are dropping HomeAgain chips because of this very reason.

  23. What I think would be really good is if they had some sort of OnStar tracking on the pet. So you could just type your number in the computer and then know where your pet would be. That would be much more useful then the present scanning thing. Because what happens if someone just steels your pet?

  24. We have our purebred boxer registered with Home Again and is still showing as a valid chip. However, there are several people that use our vet that have had a problem but HA sorted it out for them. I agree the annual fee seems a bit ridiculous…but for the peace of mind it gives the family… it is worth it for us. I think chipping is a great idea for pets. Not so sure about humans. Perhaps it would be a good idea on those nights when you’ve had a little bit too much happy sauce and you can’t find your way home. 🙂

  25. Zoofy I think it sounds excessive but you may be on to the “next big thing” which will be OnStar for pets.

    “Fido is in a stationary location at coordinates 25.7 / 18.7, he is squatting down and …..”

  26. PROBLEM is this: At what point will the HomeAgain people decide they need a guaranteed AND RECURRING revenue stream? The already have additional services, for which you will pay every year… and for which you get essentially nothing of additional value.

    It already frosts me that I pay $17 for registration… and I know another lost pet service sends a tag with a unique ID number and a toll-free telephone number. Someone finds your lost pet and anyone can call that number, give an operator the ID on the tag and that service will locate the owner for you. (Notice… No personal information has to be on the tag.) For this, it costs $5.00 once and for always service. You access your own records to make changes, and you list vet info and pet infor… everything needed.

    OK… I believe the ID Chip has value, and maybe is even almost unavoidable at this point… BUT the cost is too high and once we are sufficientoy hooked the rules will probably change.


  27. The first time my dog was lost, the local pound had picked him up. They offered the “chip” service to me and recommended several locations. All were too expensive and had ongoing fees. Thanks for the info regarding alternatives.

  28. I adopted a dog at a shelter a couple of years ago, and a few months later decided to check to make sure his Home Again microchip had my correct address and phone number. Guess what? No name, address, or phone number had been entered associated with his microchip! I had to pay the fee and register the microchip myself (I had already paid the fee once to the shelter, but I didn’t trust them to actually register the microchip at this point.). I told all my friends…and…you guessed it. Several of them had the same problem…shelter paid…microchip NOT registered or still registered to a previous owner. BIG PROBLEM, and now if you go on the Home Again website all they do is try to sell you the “Upgrade” and get a yearly fee. You can’t even check to make sure your pet has the right information associated with its microchip! My other dog’s microchip is a 24PetWatch.com chip. Thank goodness. No problems there. No additional fees. If I sign into my account it takes me directly to my dog’s information including a photograph of her that I uploaded. I can change the information myself at any time. I would NEVER have another dog microchipped by any other service…especially NOT Home Again.

    • The statement, “You can’t even check to make sure your pet has the right information associated with its microchip!” is NOT TRUE. Even if you don’t pay the annual fee to get the extra services, you can go into your pet’s information at any time to make changes. Also, it seems kind of silly to blame Home Again for your shelter’s error. I would have gone back to the shelter and requested the information be entered. Your mistake here for not doing this.


  30. I think microchip idea is great, but I do have a major complaint against HomeAgain. Several years ago we had our four pets chipped and the information was placed in a database operated by the American Kennel Club (AKC). A couple of years ago the AKC allowed this to become a separate division and that’s when the problems started. Now HomeAgain wants $14.95 per year and per pet to do many of the same things that they did before inclusive of the implant fee. The database no longer allows “basic” users to include vet contact information, etc. and for most services you need to “upgrade” to the new services. If I would have know that HomeAgain would start charging a yearly fee for their services I would have opted for putting a different chip in my pets. Then the other question is how long will it stay at $14.95? I just see this as another company gouging people who care about their pets and I am not impressed. Bottom line: microchips for your pet is a great idea. Using a chip company that will squeeze money out of you year after year. Forget it.

  31. Joe, I forgot two OTHER problem with HomeAgain microchips and what is happening. There was a recent report about microchip implants causing cancer in animals. I called HomeAgain and they took my name and number but no response to my questions after several days.

    Here is another major problem (and maybe this is just me). If you mess-up and call their toll free number and use “1-800” instead of “1-888” you end up connecting to some porno line. No kidding! For some reason I am just programmed to dial 1-800 when I see a toll free line… In any case make SURE you dial 1-888 otherwise you’ll get connected to some porno line. I can see some nervous person who has just lost their pet doing the same thing. Just what you’d want to hear!

  32. Our precious 2yr old chocolate lab got the chip for about $39.00 at our vets. we definietely felt it worthwhile. Now this may not be connected but since then he has had three grad mal seizures over a period of 6 months. He is now on meds. In trying to figure out why he is seizing, I wondered if there is any info on the chip possibly affecting dogs that way?

    • Did your dog happen to have vaccinations at the same vet visit. They are far more likely to be associated with the seizures than the chip

  33. I thought your readers may be interested in a couple of things since my posts in September.

    1. HomeAgain never called in spite of repeated attempts to talk about the implication of cancer in pets with the microchip.

    2. To answer the question on price it really depends on your vet. Some may actually do it below cost to help clients out at around $25.00. Some may charge about $50 or more. In New Orleans for a time they were doing it for free. Again, the problem is not the “up front” cost of the chip. It is how the company has turned this into a cash cow to take advantage of people who love their pets and that they did not “grandfather” old pets into the new system.

    3. Now get this… Today in our e-mail we received a “lost pet alert” as part of the new system. You can download a PDF poster from the alert. I looked at the alert and did not recognize it as anything in our city, let alone area. I did a quick search on Google Maps and there was no address that matched the Zip Code on the alert. I called the 1-888 number and someone put at HomeAgain put an incorrect number in the Zip Code field when they took the missing pet report. The alert was sent to locations about 300 miles from where this pet is missing. Did they resend the alert to the right city? I have no idea. For that amount of money ($14.95/year per pet) HomeAgain should not be making mistakes like that.

    4. What about low income or retired people who had their pets chipped under the old system? They got the shaft.

    All in all, after this e-mail in error, their major modification of services and their failure to respond to several calls about the cancer issue in pets implanted with microchips, I can honestly say I wish we had gone with a different company. It seems like a legalized scam.

    • Out of all the posts I’ve read thus far, I find this to be the most humorous! “For that amount of money ($14.95/year per pet) Home Again should not be making mistakes like that.” Oh my gosh… $14.95 A YEAR… it’s a budget breaker folks! People spend more money on Starbucks in one month and, in my opinion, receive not even close to the value of Home Again services.

      And, what logical person would not check to make sure their information was posted properly? I am almost sure that just about every Craigslist post gets double-checked for accuracy.

      This poster also mentions the implications of cancer associated with microchipping. To date, there is no clear evidence of a connection. Most studies have been performed on rodents which have a genetic makeup that predisposes them to certain types of cancer. Anyone recall the circumstances surrounding the delisting of Saccharin as a carcinogen in 2000/2001 by the FDA and USDHHS? I really cannot think why Home Again would not waste it’s time answering frivolous questions with no foundation in fact. Hmmm.

      The poster says that he “can honestly say [he wishes he] had gone with a different company.” Enrollment does not have to match manufacturing. I say GO FOR IT – Darwinism at its best!

      Our best defense against scare tactics and propaganda is reason!

    • Oh, wait – I forgot! This poster condemns Home Again for its lack of response to his phone calls regarding the possible connection between cancer and microchipping, almost as if he is attributing the cancer solely to Home Again’s product. Yet he can’t be too worried – he obviously had his own animal microchipped. “I can honestly say I wish we had gone with a different company.” Did he happen to call any other microchipping companies regarding the connection? And, if so, what was their response, if any?

  34. I’m sure there are a few mistakes, and some might cost more than others, but my dog lost his collar in the yard last week and got out last night.

    Someone called us last night and said he saw my dog with some people who had decided he was cute and wanted to keep him. They never bothered to call us despite the posters around the neighborhood.

    This morning I got a call from an animal shelter 30 miles away who had gotten my name and # from the chip. I don’t know how the shelter got him (he probably jumped out of those people’s yard), but even if those people had kept him a vet would have found my chip and called.

    It is definitely worth the $15 I paid. And I did have to call up and register him, but the SPCA (who put the chip in) told me, repeatedly, to do that.

  35. And while they might not answer the cancer question, it might be because they have no answer for you.

    There isn’t any reason to think that a non-transmitting (it doesn’t have any power source, so it can’t) object be such a powerful source of radiation.

    Much more likely is that cell phones next to our brains would cause brain tumors, but pure convenience will keep 99% of people using them anyway.

    Labrador Retrievers are prone to seizures, which are very unlikely to be caused by this chip.

    A lot of dogs get cancer, and a lot of dogs get breed-specific conditions or diseases. That should be considered as the first culprit, and not the chip.

  36. We have our 3yr old doberman chipped with Avid… one time fee, no annual cost. I just checked with our vet regarding getting our new puppy chipped and they use Home Again. Apparently there is a $49 application fee (which I realize is just my vet over charging me), then there is a first year fee of $24.99 which includes an application fee + a $10 annual fee), and then of course a $10 annual fee ongoing.

    WHAT? Why in the world would I pay any sort of annual fee when the other microchip companies do not charge an annual fee at all? Home Again advertises some marginal benefits as part of the annual fee, but I do not see the value of these nor do not want them. Medical insurance if my dog is found and if they need medical attention? A tool to create my own lost dog flyer? Thanks but I can handle that myself.

    The fee coupled with the apparent lack of customer service (which it seems they are charging for) and the incorrect, lost, or never entered registration information… is enough for me to find a different vet to put in another Avid chip for our new puppy.

    • I chalk a person like you up to being just ignorant with no patience!!!! Homeagain’s YEARLY fee is totally optional. Your info would still be available if your pet was found and scanned or better yet, with tag in toe, you’d probably get him home in minutes with no need to scan! I like the fact that I can go ONLINE to HOMEAGAIN.COM and report my pet missing with a photo and all, and unlike AVID, you can actually have posters sent out to people, vet clinics, shelters and rescues within 25 miles! If you think you can get that done in ONE HOUR, then good luck! Or just stick with AVID, who actually charges you just to update your phone number!! Nice huh?? 16.99 a year to ENSURE that my microchip company will do EVERYTHING possible to help when my pet goes missing……Yeah I’ll stick with Homeagain, but hey let me know how Avid works for ya!!!

  37. We paid AKC $12.50 in ’05 to register our dog for “Lifetime” coverage in their Home Again microchip program. I just tried to change our contact info to our new address, phone, & vet. Alas, Home Again has no record of that chip #. Now we have to shell out another $17.50 to re-register for the same basic LIFETIME?? coverage we already paid for? Forget the snazzy upgrade for an additional $14.95 annual fee. And here we felt so secure knowing he’d be returned to us ASAP if he got lost!

    • No you don’t have to pay another $17.50!! If you’re already enrolled with the AKC, you can call them and have them send you a confirmation of enrollment. You can send that to Homeagain and they would register the pet at no cost. You just won’t have the new services that they offer!!!

      • Thank you!!! Finally, a person who offers the idea of taking responsiblity (which actually moves a situation forward to solution) instead of issuing blame (which paralyzes). And, analysis with reason! What a concept…

  38. Cats that have been immunized with the HIV vaccine will test positive. Shelters will destroy these animals if they do not have a vet tag and license proving immunization or if they do not find a chip!

  39. I noticed that customer service was mentioned in some of the posts. I work customer service for this company and guess what? You people are some of the rudest individuals I have ever come across. There are better things do with your money than spend it on a stupid animal. God said DOMINION over animals, not hug up to the nasty beasts. No, I don’t think your dog is cute. Yes, you are nasty for having a mutt in your home. No, I don’t care about how you found this mutt. And yes, you are a fool for spending all that money on an ANIMAL! Get a grip and a clue. Do you think God is going to reward you because you are carrying out some gross fantasy with these creatures? There are far better things to do with your money than waste it on something that should be in the backyard to begin with.

    • You need a new job if that’s the way you feel about animals.
      I shutter to think if you should work for any business I would do business with. Your comment is evil! What I spend my money on is none of your business. This type of job sheds a little light on your bitterness. I’m sorry for you .

    • Ah Vicki – You must be the callous, insensitive female dog I got on the phone when I called Home Again.
      Your “customer service” is a TOTAL oxymoron.
      Not only did I have to listen to ~5 minutes of “press 1 if you want to buy this, press 2 if you want to buy that” nonsense, and then wait another 10 minutes to talk to a (barely) human being, once you connected me to the person who called to report that she may have found my missing pet, you disconnected me, and I had to go through the entire routine again.
      Your service called me – why couldn’t you leave the callers name & number? You had my e-mail address, why didn’t you e-mail the report to me? I am registered on your website. Why don’t you have these reports available on-line?
      Never mind, I know why now. Because they are just in it for the $$ and they hire minimum wage, insensitive morons like you.
      Everyone…….. Save yourself the aggravation and use a different chip service.

  40. I was just about to get home again, but after reading all the comments, I may try to find someone to inject AVID, since 2 of my 5 already have AVID. Supposedly, the new,HOME again worldwide scanner, detects all microchips, but the older models do not. If Home AGAIN is not an extremly diligent company, or if the other companies are not also very diligent, then how will we know whetehr they have sent updated, scanners to ALL the vets and shelters around the country. That is literally, about a million different places. Are the companies really spending that much money to provide free scanners to ALL of them? ALSO, I know, from researching over the past few years, that DIGITAL ANGEL, the manufacturer of HOME AGAIN, has included in their microchips, the technology to applyt GPS tracking, and also has approval to apply it. I DON’t know why they haven’t implored this system yet. It might have something to do with the fact that they also manufacture the VERICHIP, the human microchip used in some hospitals, and there may be a hold up with people’s paranoia about using GPS in peole or something. ALL I have to say is that I would have given anything to have had a GPS chip on the animals that I have lost in the past. I am still haunted by losing them, and I could have saved them and have saved myself from having to greave for them, never knowing what happened to them.

  41. I think if you were to ask my Shih Tzu how she liked her “homeagain” microchip she would growl to say the least, she has a 3″ incision on her back and is just waking up from having to have her “home again” microchip surgically removed for it was wandering around in her body. Not a common problem but it can happen, just publishing this for people to beware that these microchips are not completely safe for all pets and in our case also costly, we spent about $200 to get it surgically removed. The vet that removed it (wasn’t the same vet that inserted it) said it was a good thing we had it removed for it was wandering around so loosely in her body, he had to make a bigger incision than he planned to have to and also cut part of her muscle just to find the thing and remove it. So glad that thing is out of her but it is also sad to see her having to go through the pain of it. She is recovering well now but I just want people to know that there are negative stories to this product that people need to be aware of before inserting them in to their pets.

  42. If someone steals my gog, & he’s in someone’s house would the microchip tell you were he is?How safe is it.
    Thank you

  43. We had our new cat chipped with AVID chips. Our vet has moved away from Home Again chips due to the negative response they’ve had to what Home Again did. AVID has their fees up front and the only additional fee you may aver have to pay is if you “transfer” your pet to another person.

    Additionally, we asked about removing the Home Again chips to have them replaced with AVID and our vet said there is always a risk involved with doing something like that, no matter how small the surgery and using “double chips” is not recommended. So, several of our pets are stuck with Home Again chips. I wish I would have never heard of Home Again!

    What does Home Again use the money for? Yep! Mass marketing Home Again with radio and TV ads with the song Re-United. Rather than a marketing campaign and paying royalties for songs, I wish they would provide for the services they promised when we had out pets implanted.

    I want to point out a couple of things I noticed on the string here… About half of the vets I’ve come in contact with routinely check for microchips during office visits. So I don’t consider that a sure-fire way to get a lost or stolen pet back. Finally, the person who said that they worked in “customer service” somewhere above… I don’t like Home Again, but I’m not sure that is a valid posting. (At least I hope not, considering the content…)

    • Forget the extra services. Let’s compare apples to apples. Did you forget about the $6 fee EVERY time you need to update ANY information on AVID’s site? Got to update my address – $6. Oops! I forgot to change my phone number – another $6. Home Again charges nothing to update info. AVID has a higher enrollment fee for the same service – being listed in a database – than Home Again and then proceeds to charge a fee to update any information. Talk about a ripoff! If you don’t use the extra services at Home Again, AVID is quite the expense.

      I’m a little confused about the statement, “AVID has their fees up front”. Maybe I’m a little lacking, but I had to do a website search to even find the enrollment fee – found it buried in the FAQs. At the Home Again website, all I had to do was push the button to “Protect My Pet”, and the enrollment fee was listed right in sight.

  44. I want to micro chip my dog and was going to use HomeAgain. However, after hearing all the negative comments and the horrible customer service rep I decided to go with another service. I looked into both Avid and 24HourPetWatch. I really like the true dedication that 24HourPetWatch appears to display on their website, so I’m probably going to use them for my micro chipping. Could anyone let me know if they have had any bad experiences with them?

    Also while researching 24HourPetWatch, I found this info which I thought would be helpful for owners who are dissatisfied with HomeAgain chips and thier service:
    Ask at your local veterinary clinic to microchip your pet for you – tell them that you would prefer to have a 24PetWatch microchip. In the event that they use a different brand of microchip you should still register your pet’s microchip with 24PetWatch – the only full service pet recovery network that provides free registration for all brands of microchips in North America.

    Hope this helps some owners!

  45. Get this everyone… I don’t know how I missed this!

    I just received another e-mail about a lost dog (in a city about 50 miles from where I live) and at the bottom of the e-mail it said that it was copyright “Schering-Plough Home Again LLC”

    Well isn’t that just great! The American Kennel Club (AKC) sold Home Again to a pharmaceutical company Schering-Plough! As if Schering-Plough wasn’t making enough off the drug business they decided that they were going to cash in on microchipped pets! You would think that Schering-Plough already has enough money that they could have grandfathered the services in over several years on Home Again chips! It is outrageous! What? Does the CEO and investors at Schering-Plough need a few more $$$$ at the expense of people who love their pets?

    I don’t know about 24HourPetWatch as our pets only have the Avid and HomeAgain, but anything would be better than Schering-Plough. In fact, I’m going to make sure my pets do not receive ANY products from Schering-Plough again.

    Corporate greed at it’s worst! Shame on you Schering-Plough!

    • You’re obviously just IGNORANT & CHEAP!! How many monthly bills do you have that equal to a little over a dollar? NONE, I’m sure!! That annual fee, which is TOTALLY OPTIONAL, is $16.99 a YEAR! Get it? A YEAR!!!

  46. anti chipping diatribes? ridiculous. i just had my phone ring (moments ago) with someone who had found my dog, taken it to a shelter, had it scanned and my dog is now back with me. i am also a vet. i can vouch for the merit of these things. i would still be out there riding my bike around the neighborhood, calling out my dog’s name in desperation at this very moment. these databases not only match pet with owner via a permanent, unique identifier but they also permit listing of medical conditions/medications/dietary restrictions in the event that the animal that is found is not immediately matched with its owner.

  47. My puppy ran away yesterday afternoon, shes just a baby, I cried all night and paced the floor, then I remembered she had a chip because she was a puppy mill dog that I rescued. I called them and GLADLY paid the 14 bucks, but the only problem with this chip is its not GPS capable. I live in the woods that goes on for miles, right through several towns. She could be dead in those woods, eatten by a fox, and I have no way of finding her body. The chip is great if someone finds your dog and actually takes it to a shelter or a vet, but what if they are not honest people (which most people are not these days). They find a cute little puppy, thats got a sweet temperment, just the ticket for their little Joey who has been begging them for a puppy, so they bring her home for him. Great, NOW what do I do. My dog could be with people who have no intention of bringing her back, or she could be dead in the woods or worse, trapped in a hole somewhere and suffering and dying, and I cant do a darn thing about it. All this time and expense to put a chip in the animal, why not go one step further, and make them GPS capable. Now THAT I would pay boat loads for. I dont have boat loads of cash but I would beg, borrow, and steal to get my Maggie pie back. ANYTHING to stop crying and heal my broken heart. That dog was my only joy. I loved her as much as I do my children, maybe more, she didnt give me as much grief as they do, and I dont have to beg her for a kiss or a cuddle. The thought of never seeing her again is killing me! Say a prayer that my Maggie Pie, comes home to her Mommy, PLEASE!

  48. Microchips have NOT been found to cause any ill effects (cancer etc.) in animals. If they actually had transmitters and were therefore GPS capable, they likely WOULD cause ill effects. The major brands of microchips (Avid, HomeAgain) have a coating on the glass so that they do not move around in the pet’s body but attach where they are put by connective tissue. Quite harmless. These have been used on race horses and livestock for decades. The service fees from Home Again are for RECOVERY services, emergency medical hotline, emergency vet locator when traveling and such–not just the registration of your name, address & phone number (as the Avid/PetTrac registry is). You are paying to have people actively try to find your pet–as well as the notification of many volunteers in whatever area the dog disappears from. (Lost or stolen.) It may take a while for the pet to be scanned if it is actually stolen, but eventually it will have to be taken to a vet for rabies vaccines and such–then the vet will/should routinely scan it–especially if it is a new patient. If the identity on the chip doesn’t match the “owner” bringing the dog in, the vet calls the registry. Chips are also a HUGE help for rescue workers and pet owners during disasters. A $30 chip fee and registration/recovery service fees are NOTHING to me compared to the peace of mind I have knowing my dogs can be returned to me or that someone can find an emergency vet for me in a strange city in minutes. How do the companies make their money??? Pet insurance–which is a waste of money–not the chips or service fees. Also, dogs can be cross-registered to other companies… you don’t have to register a Home Again chip with Home Again or an Avid chip with Avid. You can register ANY chip with ANY company, or register your dog’s chip with several recovery registeries. Mine are registered with Avid/PetTrac, Home Again and AKC CAR so that whoever gets the call… I get my dog.

  49. Of course get a good collar with tags, but collars can and do come off. And why not take advantage of everything that’s available?
    That’s the owner’s responsibility – use all available resources for safe pet return. Yes,I have collars, tags AND chips for both my rescued racer greyhounds. And yes, one slipped her collar, took off (you can’t catch a greyhound) and I got her back within 2 hours only because the kind person who found her took her for a chip reading. Most people who bother to help a runaway dog are pet lovers and/or owners themselves and are glad to help by having the found pet scanned for a chip if there is no other identification on it.
    The expense is negligible for this service but, quite frankly, wouldn’t matter if it was twice the cost, compared to the value of a beloved pet.
    But hey, it’s a free country. If you don’t want to chip your pets, don’t. Pets are a choice. Unfortunately, so is responsiblity.

  50. How many people finding a lost pet with no collar are going to SCAN them? Only every animal shelter and humane society in the country. Here’s a solution. 1) Do spend fifteen bucks to get your dog microchipped 2) Send me the $985 you’ll have saved by not having to go out and buy a new lab after yours goes running off into the wild blue yonder.

  51. In addition to every animal shelter and vet in the country (and most of the “western world”), every laboratory, medical school and veterinary training program will also check for microchips before using an animal for testing/teaching purposes. This program thwarts thousands of animal thefts for the purpose of selling them to these programs.

    If you really want to know about animals returned to their owners because of these chips just call your local SPCA or Animal Control Office and ask how any animals they returned to owners because of these chips. Some local SPCA programs (who don’t make any money on these ships) put these figures right on their web site.

  52. Home Again has lost me as a customer, I will register with AKC CAR, even my Home Again chips, for $12.50 for a life time. The yearly fee is absurd!!! And every time you call you get a different answer to the same question. I have zero faith in them and the yearly fee that most unsuspecting pet owners will pay is unethical. The “extra” services are worthless. I chip several animals a year, as I am involved in rescue. It is a scam and they are loosing customers because of their great idea to increase their revenue. Other companies are out there, AVID to name one, they are the only company that charges a yearly fee.

  53. Hi, got some news for everyone. It is possible to alter, change or delete information from HomeAgain with only three easily gotten pieces of information. It has been done and it was reported to HomeAgain, they steadfastedly insist that it cannot be done…they are incorrect according to the computer geeks I have spoken to.
    AVID chips are tamper proof.
    My dogs are all HomeAgain, now they will be rechip AVID.

  54. I chip all my cats with Avid chips, but when I had my bloodhound spayed the vet offered a great deal on a Home Again chip so I had her chipped with Home Again.
    3 months later her chip wouldn’t scan. It was determined that it failed and Home Again sent a new chip to my vet.
    I then had to make another trip to the vet to have her chipped again.
    I worry that it will fail again and I won’t know it.
    And I’m disgusted that Avid charges a one time lifetime fee and Home Again is going to charge yearly. I should have just rechipped her with an Avid chip!

  55. Just came upon this thread. I’ve had an interesting experience with a chip that some of you might enlightening.

    We got a call this last November from an LA area shelter with a message that a cat was brought into the facility and after scanning it they discovered it had a chip and the info showed it to be our cat Clover.

    It was great news….BUT very surprising. You see Clover was lost when she got our of our yard ABOUT 4 YEARS AGO. The other thing is that WE LIVE IN VIRGINIA AND CLOVER HAD NEVER BEEN IN CALIFORNIA!

    Well in our case the chip worked…although it was 4 years and 3000 miles later. What this showed us in vivid detail is that a chip will do it’s job….but it should never be the primary form of ID. It’s a sure bet that Clover didn’t hitchhike to SoCal for a vacation.

    Someone found her when she was lost, but since we hadn’t put an ID tag on her, there was no way for them to contact us….and they probably didn’t know she had a chip. I assume whoever it was “adopted” her and at some point moved to California, where she escaped from them.

    I’m convinced that an ID tag would have had her back to us, but of course we’ll never know. I do know this, she has an ID tag on her now and the chip is a back up. AND speaking of the tag, I have to tell everyone about what I discovered to be the ID everyone should go out and get (even if you already have a tag on your cat or dog.

    It’s called petFINDER and it’s a new kind of ID tag made by a company called Finder Products (www.finderproducts.com). the company says its like giving your pet a toll-free calling card in case it ever needs to reach you.

    Before putting the tag on the pet, an owner enters 3 personal contact numbers into the special system (along with recording an owners message).If someone finds a lost pet, they just dial a toll-free number on the tag; they hear the owners message and then are automatically connected directly to those 3 contact numbers….if the caller can’t reach someone on the first number,without hanging up it rolls over and tries the second and third number.

    It’s a great everyday ID tag, but for owners traveling with their pets, its just amazing because an owner can make unlimited changes to their numbers forever! You can make changes from anywhere at any time…even after the pet was lost, if you discovered the numbers were not correct!

    I agree with the company’s statement that petFINDER makes tradtional ID tags obsolete and don’t know why anyone would even still use them. Found out they designed the system with the help of American Humane.

    Anyway, I purchased several sets (gave them to friends as presents) and everyone loved them and the concept. If you’re interested, you can purchase them at Petco and other stores, but I got mine from the company site and was able to get their new metal version (in the shape of a miniture red cell phone). I paid $19.99 and that’s the ONLY cost involved (there are no other charges of any kind for umlimited toll free service). Check the petFINDER ID tag out at the company site or at http://www.petfindertag.com

  56. I recently learned that someone or somehow, three a my dogs information has not been documented or provided to this company. I have spoke with several people that answer the phones and three supervisors numerous times.
    I provided the chip numbers and HomeAgain verified the veterinarians name and location.. I stated that I was absolutely sick, given the fact that for more than two years I believed my dogs had a safety net. Even though I paid for the services my dogs were potentially vulnerable. At no time did any of the phone operators or supervisors offer to take the information contingent upon some arrangements that could be made. Finally, I stated, how is this for of thought,
    ” Someone might consider taking the information and the fact that no one ever offered might be a clue that they didn’t give a rip about my pets.” I felt as if they had received their money so the interest JUST was not there. Oh, but don’t worry the supervisor will call you back on another day ,again, she’s busy………… later I learned she was gone.

    Does anybody know is a difficult to remove their chip so I can have a chip from a different company placed in my dogs. I do not trust or believe anything this company says. I wouldn’t accept services for free or anything else affiliated with this company. They truly demonstrated their compassion for pets.

    After reading numerous complaints about HomeAgain I wish I had done my homework before.

  57. I recently learned that someone or somehow, three a my dogs information has not been documented or provided to this company. I have spoke with several people that answer the phones and three supervisors numerous times.
    I provided the chip numbers and HomeAgain verified the veterinarians name and location.. I stated that I was absolutely sick, given the fact that for more than two years I believed my dogs had a safety net. Even though I paid for the services my dogs were potentially vulnerable. At no time did any of the phone operators or supervisors offer to take the information contingent upon some arrangements that could be made. Finally, I stated, how is this for of thought,
    ” Someone might consider taking the information and the fact that no one ever offered might be a clue that they didn’t give a rip about my pets.” I felt as if they had received their money so the interest JUST was not there. Oh, but don’t worry the supervisor will call you back on another day ,again, she’s busy………… later I learned she was gone.

    Does anybody know if it is difficult to remove their chip so I can have a chip from a different company placed in my dogs. I do not trust or believe anything this company says. I wouldn’t accept services for free or anything else affiliated with this company. They truly demonstrated their compassion for pets.

    After reading numerous complaints about HomeAgain I wish I had done my homework before.

  58. I have had and am having the same problems with Home Again, and my confidence that someone finding my pet, gettig it scanned and going thru the same efort with Home Again to find me the pet owner does not give me much confidence.

    • I just made a call and spoke with a vet that sells HomeAgain and Avid microchips . He told me the whole microchip registration is about to make HUGE changes. He stated it was set to take place as of Sept.1, 2009, but that date has been pushed back a bit.
      We the consumers will be able to enroll our pets with any company. The chips will be transferable regardless of what company we bought them from.
      When I spoke with HomeAgain recently about having the chips removed, the person in charge never stated anything about the changes that were about to take place.
      It could have saved my dogs a lot of pain. Do I believe that he was not aware, NO.
      Do I believe he knew about the changes,YES.
      Do I know for a fact that he knew,NO but, this has everything to do with his company and job.
      I am so glad I will have other options other than HomeAgain. It is all about trust!
      So all the other people that have been disappointed or worse, you will have the ability to right a wrong

  59. I came back from vacation a week early after my kitty Paint went missing & the cat sitter started to get worried. I put up posters & was informed by neighbors that they’d seen little Paint get hit by a car and then stories don’t quite mesh regarding if the police took his body, if he was taken to a shelter & which county, etc. Paint had lost his collar multiple times; the last time I’d chipped a pet I’d then found out it wasn’t universal which so frustrated me that I didn’t have the rest of my pets chipped. Now what I found out is if an animal is taken to a Shelter — either dead or alive — non-chipped animals are only held 3 days whereas chipped animals are held 10. I would have had a chance of recovering Paint’s body had he been chipped.

  60. The comment post from the “owner” of clover seems like an obvious plug for his company finderproducts.com. Why doesn’t he just buy an ad on this site rather than pretend to be someone commenting.

  61. My 2 year old poodle is spayed and microchipped with a $19.95 Avid PETtrac fee. Because of this I paid $31.00 for a lifetime dog liscense. Isn’t this worth it in more ways than one?

  62. I don’t want this to come off as too contentious. I use HomeAgain and work in customer service. 9/10 of the reason that most people get upset with a specific company and their products/services is simply ignorance.

    Question to everyone who’s complaining about HA charging an annual fee. Are you aware that paying annually is optional and the annual fee simply provides additional services? In other words, your pet has a lifetime registration with HomeAgain.

    Also, the concept of enrolling your pet’s chip with any company is hardly new. My puppy came with an AVID chip when we got him nearly three years ago and he’s ALWAYS been enrolled with HomeAgain.

  63. Our 2 dogs have chips, we believe in them but also know there are stories of dogs who are never reunited with their owners because the chip/chipreaders failed. That said, this is not due to the lack of a paid membership to HomeAgain. Kudos to the comment in 2008 that they are the only one charging a membership fee. In calling my vet, they confirmed that if my dog is found and I am NOT paying the annual membership fee to HomeAgain, they will reunite me. How absurd to lead consumer to believe, through emotional based marketing threatening the loss of your pet, that if you aren’t paying HomeAgain, you will not get your pet! This is certainly a scam. I have recently written customer service and recommended they remarket the services with ethics and refund all money to members who have been sucked into this guilt-based marketing. As informed consumers, we need to investigate all ways in which we spend money and with whom. My bigger worry is do I need an updated, stronger chip to protect my pet since there are inconsistencies in effectiveness. That should be the bigger issue of Shering Plough as well.

  64. These chips are good,but if someone steals your dog or cat. And somehow manages to ever take it to the Vet…. That Vet would have no reason to scan that cat or dog if the theif told the Vet it was his…’

    I havea freind who has some trailor trash down the street…. The trashy people found his dog with colloars on it. Then removed the collar and gave the dog away to a lady about 20 miles from his house… He ran a lost pet ad in the paper the unknowing lady saw the ad in the paper. She called the guy and said I may have your dog but didnt steal it…. Needless to say she told off on the POS trailor trash bumbs………..
    People like that should be made streile at birth…
    Any decent person would simply call the number on the tag. And say your dog is here tearing up my shit or in my yard. Come get it…

  65. I have my french bulldog chipped with home again,she had the chip implanted at the ny humane society for $30. Home Again will cover up to $3000 dollars in vet bills. Once your pet is reported missing, if your dog were to get hit by car. only if pet first ins is activated the coverage of $3000 will be reimbursed please call 1866 965-7387 to activate the coverage. It must be done every year after renewing membership with homeagain

  66. If you look carefully at the HomeAgain form, you don’t HAVE to check that you want to enroll in their “Network membership”. Which is where they will notify shelters and vets in your area if you call and say your pet is lost. You don’t HAVE to fill in the grey payment areas at the bottom of the form.
    Just fill in your name, address and phone number and mail it in.
    “Once entered in the HomeAgain database, microchips are registered for life, whether or not pet owners renew their annual memberships, and contact information may be updated online anytime free of charge by logging into HomeAgain.com.”

    • I called HomeAgain today; they say you have to send a $16.99 check with the form. I had been under the impression that was paid for when I paid for the implant at the vet.

      I don’t recommend a credit card. Both the form and the web site say they will automatically bill it every year.

      • Correct, it is free to register your pet online. If you want ADDITIONAL services (e.g. travel expenses paid upto 500, emergency help, help with posters etc), you can pay the 16.99 annual fee. Click that link to read what those ADDITIONAL services are http://public.homeagain.com/faq.html#needmicrochip

        Don’t let the “additional” fee discourage you from getting this microchip.
        I am definitely getting it done next month while my dog is getting spayed.

  67. I know people love their pets and often companies advertise grandiose plans but fail to provide the unprofitable follow up.

    Gypsies are known for running stolen pet scams. Everything from having a similar dog visible in a car quite some distance away but you have to pay before you can approach the dog to verify if its yours or not to such things as selling you the fake ashes or whatever they can think of.

    Also, don’t overlook the easiest way to defeat a burglar alarm: pick up the family pooch when its running around the neighborhood and keep it for a few days, then call and say “I’ve got a hungry dog here can you come pick it up”. You get to some weekend home just as its getting dark and some guys with guns greet you and show you your dead dog just to convince you not to futz around with giving them the wrong code to your alarm.

  68. This is one of the biggest stupidity in the world lol.Your idea is better.I have a dog,a German shepherd and you give me a great solution to not lose him.Thanks!

  69. A collar can’t compare to a chip for all of the reasons stated above. However, I prefer chips that do not require an annual fee.

  70. We have our dog chipped and regsitered with HomeAgain after he got lost with no collar on and was picked up by the local animal control. Had he been chipped at the time, they would have contacted us right away, but had to wait the long holiday weekend to find him at the shelter. That being said, my brother found a dog over the weekend, and they had called local vets and groomers to see if anyone had reported him lost. He was in the process of taking the dog to the vet and verifying if he was chipped or not. I suggested he contact HomeAgain to see if the dog belonged to any of their members. He called and the person kept repeating that they can’t do anything without a chip number. My brother explained that they were in the process of checking on that, but thought that they could tell him if a dog of this type was reported lost in his area – again – the person kept repeating that they could not do anything without a chip number. He explained he was surprised that they were so unwilling to do a quick look up on their database to determine if he was on the right track.
    I understand that a chip number is ultimately needed but I’m really disappointed in how their “Lost Pet Specialist” handled this. You know they have a database of customer information and should be able to look up this information by location – not to mention that the emails to registered pet members on lost pets are generated by location. If my dog was lost and someone who found him called their number, I would like to think they would be more intrested in providing any help they could. After this experience and reading all the negative comments about HomeAgain, I’m looking into switching to 24PetWatch as they will register any brand of microchip for free, and it appears from this post that people have had better experience with them. Thanks to everyone who posted information here.
    I agree that a collar is essential in identifying your dog, but given that a chip could have helped us get our dog back sooner in the absence of his collar, it’s worth the cost to us.

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  82. HomeAgain is a big scam and they take actions to actually prevent you from being reunited with your pet. You can read all about it at HomeAgainMicrochipScam.com. All the info is on the blog including screen shots so people can really see how much of a scam it is.

  83. Here is the problem with Home Again: if you adopt a rescue animal which has been chipped by the previous owner they don’t have a system to change the chip to your info and if the animal is lost they contact the former owner!!!!

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