At this time, there is not a central database in the U.S. for registering microchips; each manufacturer maintains its own database (or has it managed by someone else). Because the ISO standards for identification codes have not been adopted in the U.S., the microchips must be registered with their individual registries.
Fortunately, microchip scanners display the name of the microchip’s manufacturer when the microchip is read. Therefore, the likelihood that an animal cannot be identified from its microchip number is very low—that is, unless your pet’s microchip has not been registered or the information is not accurate.
In 2009, the American Animal Hospital Association launched their Universal Pet Microchip Lookup Tool (www.petmicrochiplookup.org), which provides a listing of the manufacturer with which the microchip’s code is associated as well as if the chip information is found in participating registries. The database does not provide owner information for the microchip – the user must contact the manufacturer/database associated with that microchip.
A number of free microchip databases have been launched over the past few years, but many of these databases are not tied directly to the manufacturers’ databases. Fortunately, some of these databases are integrated into the AAHA Universal Pet Microchip Lookup Tool. Any database with which you register your pet’s microchip needs to be regularly updated, and the critical database to keep up-to-date is the one maintained by the microchip manufacturer.