Animal Services

What is a microchip and how do they work?

A microchip is a small device implanted between the shoulder blades of an animal that is used for permanent identification.  The microchip is about the size of a grain of rice and can be read by a microchip scanner.  Each microchip contains a series of unique numbers similar to a vehicle VIN number.  Most veterinarians and animal shelters have microchip scanners that can be used to read the chip number. 

The microchip is not a GPS locating device for your animal.  The microchip cannot tell us where your animal is located

We can determine ownership and address of each animal by entering the microchip number into our system.  This helps us return many animals in the field because we are able to find out who the owner is right away, and let the owner know that their pet has been found.  Collars and tags can be taken off or fall off, making it almost impossible for us to identify correct ownership.  Microchips are a form of permanent identification. The procedure is quick and safe, similar to a routine vaccine.  Learn more about microchips and how they work.

Call 311 to find resources, ask questions, and utilize Washoe County services. Learn More »
Call 311 to find resources, ask questions, and utilize Washoe County services. Learn More »