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Microchips and Tattoos

All pets should wear a collar with an ID tag at all times, but should also have a microchip or tattoo for added security. Ask you vet for the best type for you. Microchips can be implanted by your vet or at a CABRA clinic. Check out for clinic schedules. Microchipping is also available at many of our PACC911 adopt-a-thons for a very nominal fee!

Maricopa County Animal Care and Control offers microchipping at both their East and West Valley locations. Call 602-506-PETS for current pricing.

– West Valley location: 2599 S 27th Ave., Phoenix

– East Valley location: 2640 W 8th St., Mesa

Home Fur Good – Low-Cost Vaccine & Microchip Clinic – Sundays only

16624 N. 32nd Street, Phoenix

(south of bell on west side of street, next to Altra Collision)

Each year hundreds of thousands of lost pets are taken to animal shelters across the country. Many of these animals wear no form of traceable identification and are never reunited with their owners. Eventually, they are euthanized. This terrible waste of lives, can be avoided if owners equip their pets with proper identification. Both dogs and cats need identification. Even if your cat is a 100% indoor cat, she still needs ID – scared or excited pets can slip out the door before you can stop them.

Microchip Implants

Electronic microchip implants are inserted using a special syringe. Your vet can inject a small coded device, about the size of a grain of rice, under the loose skin on your pet’s neck. It is quick and painless. Microchips each have an identification number associated with them. With this number, your name, address and phone number are stored in a computer database. Animal shelters and many veterinary hospitals throughout North America are equipped with special scanning devices that read the microchip implant information. If they find your pet, they can notify you quickly with your stored information. The one-time cost for a microchip implant varies, ranging from $20-80.


Tattoos are commonly etched into one of your pet’s ears during spay/neuter surgery. Tattoos are a visible and somewhat permanent method of identification. Unlike tags, tattoos are not reliant on your pet wearing its collar. Sometimes tattoos will fade over time, making them illegible, but they can be retraced.

Collars and Tags

The annual rabies tag you get by registering your pet with Maricopa County, as well as a tag with your address and phone number are other good forms of identification. The biggest benefit of a collar and tags is that it provides instant access to vital information about your pet. The number on the rabies tag is tracked in a computer database. If your pet is found, the animal control officer can check the tag number, pull up your address, and let you know that they have your pet. The main problem with relying solely on dog tags is that tags can fall off or may not be readable, collars are easily removed, slipped or broken, and therefore, they provide no guarantee that the information will still be on your pet when he/she is found. We highly recommend a tattoo or microchip implant as a permanent backup, in addition to a collar and tags. Keep Info Current!

Using at least one or more of these pet identification systems will help to ensure that your pet will never truly be lost, but if you fail to update your files when you move, or change your home or work phone number, none of them will help your pet find his way home. Always remember to attach your pet’s tags to your their buckle collar, never a choke chain collar, and makesure he/she wears it at all times. Be sure to keep a record of all your pets’ tattoo, microchip, licence and rabies tag numbers. When providing information about your lost pet to your local veterinary hospital or animal shelter, they will need these numbers.

Quick links to various permanent pet ID sources:

Home Again Companion Animal Retrieval Microchip System   800.252.7894

Avid Microchip     800.336.2843

National Dog Registry / Tattoos   800.NDR.DOGS

Tattoo-A-Pet   800.TATTOOS offers a pet marker that is painless to the pet and only takes a few minutes to apply. No anesthesia is needed and the tattoo is dark enough to last a lifetime. They are usually placed on the belly or flank of the dog or the ear of the cat. Cost is $35 and includes tattoo and registration through Tattoo-A-Pet and a hotline tag is included with tattoo # engraved on the back of the tag.