VCA University Veterinary Clinic

HomeAgain® Pet Recovery Service

By VCA University
Published: April 09, 2013

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Microchip Identification Seen as Part of a Program of Responsible Pet Care

Fairfax, VA â€"April, 2013 â€" VCA University Veterinary Clinic is pleased to announce we now offer the HomeAgain® Pet Recovery Service, a permanent, unalterable method of pet identification responsible for the successful reunion of more than 1,000,000 lost pets with their rightful owners.

To help control the pet population, cut down on disease and reduce the number of lost pets that are euthanized because they cannot be properly identified, VCA University Veterinary Clinic recommends that pet owners follow a six step program of responsible pet care â€" spay/neuter, vaccinate, flea/tick/internal parasite/heartworm prevention, proper nutrition, annual wellness testing and microchip.

HomeAgain® is an advanced pet identification and retrieval system. A microchip with a unique identification code is implanted under the skin between the shoulders of the pet. The pet is enrolled in the HomeAgain® Recovery Service. HomeAgain® maintains a national database and is available 24-hours daily, 365 days a year. When a lost pet is found, it can be scanned at an animal shelter or the clinic of a participating veterinarian. The animal’s identification number is called into HomeAgain®, and the pet owner is notified immediately.

Currently, more than two and a quarter million pets microchipped with HomeAgain® are enrolled with the HomeAgain® Pet Recovery Service. Today, pet recoveries as a result of the HomeAgain® microchip have grown to an average of 7,000 per month in the U.S. and a successful recovery is now occurring approximately every six (6) minutes.

Pets enrolled in the recovery network also receive collar tags to wear with their HomeAgain® identification number and the toll-free recovery hotline. The tags alone help identify lost pets, but tags/collars can easily come off. A microchip provides permanent identification that remains in place and functional for the life of the implanted animal.

The microchip is about the size of a grain of rice and you cannot see the microchip after it is implanted in the dog or cat. The procedure is simple and similar to administering a vaccine. The microchip comes preloaded in a sterile applicator and is injected under the skin between the shoulder blades. Extensive testing and long-term studies have shown the HomeAgain® microchip is safe for pets.

The veterinarians at VCA University Veterinary Clinic urge that with microchip identification, a pet that is lost can be shown the way home. The case for having pets implanted with a microchip is a strong one, as the statistics show that microchipping is the best, most reliable method of permanently identifying pets.

The facts do not lie:

  • 30-60% of lost pets in shelters are euthanized because they cannot be properly identified and returned to their owner. Only about 14% of dogs and 4% of cats who end up in shelters are returned to their rightful owners.
  • Less than 25% of all animals that enter shelters are adopted by new owners.
  • About 2 million pets that are reported missing each year may be victims of theft.
  • Collar tags are a great way to identify lost pets and reunite them with their owners, but they can easily come off or be removed.
  • Tattoos are difficult to remove from an animal, but they are still not 100% reliable. Tattoos can be altered, fade, or blur, and are not always easy to read.
  • Reading a microchip is far easier than trying to read the tattoo of a frightened stray animal.
  • Microchipping is permanent, completely unalterable, and does not change or harm the appearance of the animal in any way. The procedure is safe, inexpensive, fast and virtually painless for the animal.
  • There are about 50,000 microchip scanners currently in use by shelters, veterinarians, and municipal organizations in the U.S.

For more information about the HomeAgain Pet Recovery Service, please visit on the World Wide Web.


Specialty Care

Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

As part of the VCA family, we have over 83 specialty hospitals across the US and Canada which provide referral specialty care, so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: behavior, cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, integrative medicine, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology, rehabilitation, reproduction, and surgery.

Find a VCA Specialty Care Animal Hospital near you:


See all VCA Animal Hospitals >


Emergency Care

In case of emergency, please call us immediately at 703-385-1054. If it is after hours, please contact one of the following nearby emergency care clinics.

- The Hope Center, 703-281-5121, 140 Park Street SE Vienna, VA 22180

- VCA South PAWS, 703-752-9100, 8500 Arlington Boulevard Fairfax, VA 22031