I was just talking to a friend who was counting herself lucky that her lost Beagle was returned to her only hours after she was lost. This discussion lead to the topic of microchiping. She said that she had her dog's done at a pet expo and that is was inexpensive. I told her that it wasn't the upfront cost but the yearly one that kept me from doing it. She looked at me like I had two heads! Do you have to pay a yearly fee or not? I was just looking at the website for Home Again and it looks like after the initial $25 for insertion, there is a $16.99 yearly fee. What happens if I get the chip but do not sign up for anything else? Is it worth it if I won't pay the additional money? Simply put, I won't pay annually. Any advice?
I don't pay a yearly fee for mine.
Here's what it says from the Home Again Microchip site:
If pet owners decide not to renew their annual membership, will their pets’ microchip ID codes and information still remain in the HomeAgain database?
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. However, if a non-member’s pet is lost, they are not eligible for the value-added benefits included with the annual HomeAgain membership, such as proactive outreach to local PetRescuer volunteers, travel assistance for found pets, the 24/7 medical hotline, etc.
I keep my membership up to date for my dogs, but not my cats since they are indoor only kitties. As for the other microchip companies I am sure there is probably info on their website FAQ's.
edit: I forgot to say I think microchipping is a must for all pet owners. You read stories all the time how pets find their way home because of the chip. Heck, there was a story not to long ago of a man from Kent, Washington with dementia who was able to get home since the dogs that followed him had a chip which lead them to the owner/family (http://www.nbc.com/news-sports/msnbc-video/2011/07/man-with-dementi...)!
edit2: I also forgot to mention to keep your eyes out for dog events that offer discounted microchipping. At many dog shows, events like Bark for Life, pet expos, dog fairs, humane society events, Responsible Dog Owner Days, etc.. will have discounted microchipping. I've been to events where they were offered for $10. That's pretty good! :)
We went thru Our vet and used the Petlink/resq chip.One time fee for the life of the pet.Just be sure and register on line after the vet visit.BTW,Keri girl had to be chipped 2x.The original one worked itself out of the insertion site!!Vet couldn't believe it until I handed them the tiny capsule about the size of a grain of rice.I found it in her thick undercoat while brushing.Crazy!!
No you do not need to pay a yearly fee. They trick you into paying that fee by making it sound like your pet will be removed from the system if you don't. There are a few services you do not receive if you don't pay the fee, but your pet is still in the system as well as your contact info. I don't pay the annual fee because its enough for me to know that if my pet is scanned they can access my info and he can be returned to me.
Our vet uses AVID chips. There is only an initial chip implant fee (around $30-40) then an $18ish fee if you wanted it added to the national registry. There is no annual fee. The only additional fees they have are for changing the address or phone number on the chip, and I think that fee is less than $10.
Here is the website - http://www.avidid.com/
VERIFY YOUR CHIP whenever you visit the vet.
On a rare vet visit for rabies shots, I asked the vet to scan the dogs. Gwynnie's gave no signal. Home Again replaced it free of charge.
Her first chip fell out soon after insertion. My wife noticed it protruding from her skin while combing her. Also, they can migrate all over the dog, inside the huge space between muscles and skin. I've heard of them being found way down a dog's leg. But the vet scanned her all over. No signal.
We've never paid the annual fee thing.
I just paid a one time fee for activation for both of mine. And everytime the vet checks the corgis, he also checks the chip!
I had Ellie microchipped when I had her spayed and my Vet's office uses Home Again. There is no mandatory, yearly fee after you have the chip inserted. The yearly membership is optional and does not prevent the microchip from being read if you choose not to enroll. The membership just provides extra services.
I do like that Home Again issues email alerts when a pet goes missing within 25 miles of your home, though. I've already received alerts for lost pets in my area and I make sure to keep an eye out for wandering animals matching the descriptions given. And yes, you receive these alerts even if you aren't enrolled in the yearly membership.
Did Twinkie take you to the expo? My Snowball has a chip but it is not active.