Animal shelters, animal control officers and veterinarians routinely look for microchips to return lost pets quickly to their owners, avoiding expenses for housing, food, medical care, outplacing and euthanasia.
Many shelters place chips in all outplaced animals.
Some countries require microchips in imported animals to match vaccination records.
An owner can also report a missing pet to the recovery service, as vets look for chips in new animals and check with the recovery service to see if it has been reported lost or stolen.
Many veterinarians scan an animal's chip on every visit to verify correct operation.
Some veterinarians leave registration to the owner, usually done online, but a chip without current contact information is essentially useless.
The owner receives a registration certificate with the chip ID and recovery service contact information.
Externally attached microchips such as RFID ear tags are commonly used to identify farm and ranch animals other than horses.
Some external microchips can be read with the same scanner used with implanted chips.The information can also be imprinted on a collar tag worn by the animal.Like an automobile title, the certificate serves as proof of ownership and is transferred with the animal when it is sold or traded; an animal without a certificate could be stolen.After checking that the animal does not already have a chip, the vet or technician injects the chip with a syringe and records the chip's unique ID. Some shelters and vets designate themselves as the primary contact to remain informed about possible problems with the animals they place.The form is sent to a registry, who may be the chip manufacturer, distributor or an independent entity such as a pet recovery service.According to one reference, continental European pets get the implant in the left side of the neck. Thin layers of connective tissue form around the implant and hold it in place.