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Discussion Starter #1
So my vet uses the home again microchip and i have read several reviews/posts about their questionable methods and how they pretty much try to dupe customers into paying a $17 yearly fee for miscellaneous services that arent really necessary and that if you dont you get bombarded with spam emails reminding you to sign up for the safety of your pet.

does anyone have any suggestions with this? Or are there any other reputable companies that may be a better alternative? Thanks!
 

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Fritz has a Home Again microchip. The county animal control put it in and added it to his dog license for free.

You don't have to pay the yearly fee. The way the guy explained it to me, if you travel a lot it just ensures that your registration is listed nationwide. Haven't gotten any spam e-mails yet either.

If you're staying local, just make sure it's registered with the local animal control!
 

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I have home again and you're right about them trying to get you to pay a yearly fee. It's not needed. It just provides extra services if your dog is lost.

For the basics, home again is fine and good for life without having to pay any yearly fees.
 

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Just make sure the chip can be read by universal scanners.

Some companies encode the chips or use frequencies that cannot be read by universal scanners, which does NOT help if your dog ends up at a shelter with a different kind/brand of scanner.
 

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I have several digs chipped with home again. There is no annual fee and only rarely do I get an email about anything from them. Certainly no spamming. The chip works nationwide, the poster who was told the fee makes it work nationwide is not correct. The fee pays for things like lost pet posters and junk like that. You don't register a chip at your local animal control.

And the other poster is misinformed as well. Even if the reader can't actually READ your chip, it will pick up that the chip is there and the company to contact. So all is not lost.


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No you are incorrect.

My vets scanner was not able to detect Ilda's chip which was full duplex ISO compliant chip she got in Europe. Nothing, no reading, zilch.

I found a vet with a universal scanner, also known as a 'Black Scanner' and the chip was immediately and clearly read.

The chips have set frequencies as well as some were encoded (proprietary) thereby blocking scanners from different manufacturers.

We've had a LOT of threads on this topic.

Now, things HAVE gotten better and most chip companies are following the European lead of ISO compliant full duplex chips but that was NOT always the case.

I don't know about home again or their policies so that's why I posted a neutral statement to just check and make sure.

I have several digs chipped with home again. There is no annual fee and only rarely do I get an email about anything from them. Certainly no spamming. The chip works nationwide, the poster who was told the fee makes it work nationwide is not correct. The fee pays for things like lost pet posters and junk like that. You don't register a chip at your local animal control.

And the other poster is misinformed as well. Even if the reader can't actually READ your chip, it will pick up that the chip is there and the company to contact. So all is not lost.


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Another wrinkle in this is there are multiple chip registries online, multiple databases and there has been some effort to combine them. I think the AKC has something set up to try to warehouse the IDs from chips in one database.

I have registered Ilda's chip with a couple of registries, just in case.

Some charge a fee some don't.

At the end of the day chips are O.K. for extra precaution but I would just caution against believing they provide as MUCH security as some companies make them out.
 

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This link illustrates some of the problems in the past with chips that could not be read.

In 1996, Schering-Plough Animal Health, marketer of the HomeAgain™ microchip identification system, announced distribution of a universal scanner by Destron-Fearing* that can read all microchips and removed a major obstacle to widespread acceptance of pet identification with the new technology. Until then, no one scanner could read the chips of all the US manufacturers, a situation that impeded efforts to involve shelters in a national effort to return stray dogs to their owners through a chip program. The new scanners were given to thousands of shelters throughout the country so that quick and easy identification of those dogs with microchips could be achieved.
There are some drawbacks. AVID® encoded its chips so that the number cannot be read, even by the HomeAgain™ universal scanner. Unless the shelter has an AVID® scanner, the best it can do is identify that a chip from AVID® is present. Thus it is still necessary to have access to at least two scanners in order to assure that the chip number can be retrieved.
Dog Owner's Guide: Microchips
 

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1996....it is currently 2013, 17 years we are talking about. Things have progressed significantly in the field of microchipping. That data is so outdated it's not even worthy of reading IMHO.


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As per the article I linked above, problems have existed because the U.S. did not go to a standard chip/scanner format.

As a consequence US made chips were not being read amongst competitors either.

It was (it is getting better) a nationwide problem with domestic made chips/scanners.



I said nationwide, I can not speak for Europe and their chips/readers.


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I am repeating myself when I say things are getting better.

However, the standard has been evolving to the Euro ISO model and Ilda's chip was NOT readable as recently as two years ago.

Therefore it is reasonable to advise someone to simply doublecheck with whichever company they choose that the chip is readable by universal scanners.



1996....it is currently 2013, 17 years we are talking about. Things have progressed significantly in the field of microchipping. That data is so outdated it's not even worthy of reading IMHO.


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btw- it's not a matter of technology progressing as much as it was competitors trying to beat each other to monopolizing the industry via blocking a standardized cross compatible platform. Why help your competitor make $$$ by reading his chip?

Standardizing a radio frequency is far from being anything new under the sun.

It was all about $$$$
 

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I have a HomeAgain chip in my latest adoptee, and I'm happy with them. The only "spam" I get from them is notices of lost pets in my neighborhood, and only because I opted into it (and saw one "lost dog" notice recently come through by email from HomeAgain that matched a "found dog" email from my homeowner's association....so I could help connect them!)

You pay $17 one time when your vet activates the chip and registers it in the database. That gets you in the database, forever. It also gets you "premium" service membership for a year -- which you can renew, or not. Renewal doesn't affect your chip being registered forever. It just gets you extra bells and whistles.

I happen to really like that membership -- it gets me unlimited 24/7 access to an emergency vet phone line. My vet's office told me about that perk, and I happen to love it. There's a licensed vet on the line with access to the ASPCA animal poison control database. (For reference, a single call to the ASPCA animal poison control center costs $60.)

I've been surprised how convenient it is to call at 11 PM on a Saturday night about something I'm worried about and debating going to the e-vet over -- the HomeAgain emergency phone line gives me a licensed vet available to talk to who can help me make an informed decision. Since these calls are free with the membership, I can call without hesitation. I'm a worrier by nature, so it's a service I use. It's totally worth $17 to me. It might not be worth it for someone else though.
 

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I just want to add that what Magwart said has been my experience with HomeAgain as well. The only emails that I get from them are the lost pet ones which I opted into getting. I don't pay the yearly fee and in fact in 10 years they have never pushed for me to get their premium service.
 
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