Identifying pets or “companion” animals is compulsory in all regions of the state.
Identification is crucial in cases of lost animals. When a veterinary clinic, animal shelter or refuge receives a lost animal, the first thing they do, through a microchip reader, is to check the identification of the animal in order to get in touch with its family. If it doesn’t have a microchip, recovery will be slower and more difficult, and it may even never be found.
Inserting the microchip is a really quick, easy and painless procedure, which is done by the vet. The microchip is a small biocompatible glass capsule, the size of a grain of rice, which is harmless and is placed under the skin, close to the neck. The implanting is done with a sterile appliance, it’s painless and does not require sedation. The microchip stores the information as an alphanumeric code of 15 digits.
Once implanted it must be registered in the corresponding file of each autonomous region. It is important to keep the records up to date: addresses, telephone numbers, e-mails, etc. so that the animal can be quickly recovered should it get lost.
In Spain there are the followingREGISTRIES OF MICROCHIP IDENTIFICATION
Some regions still accept tattoos as a method of identification, however a microchip is more recommendable and compulsory in most regions. Tattoos may lose clarity over time, they may be written illegibly and they are very easy to manipulate if someone wanted to change a digit. Also there is no database of tattoos.
The chances of finding a lost animal are 90% if it is identified, but only 15% if it is not.
In parallel with the microchip animals should (in some autonomous regions it is also compulsory) wear an ID tag with telephone numbers of the family. It is an even faster and easier way of identifying the animal and getting it back with its family, should it get lost, as it is doesn’t require going to an animal rescue centre which has a microchip reader or even to call the local police. Some animal centres have a shop where you can buy these name tags. It is a nice way to identify your beloved pet and also collaborate with a good cause.
At the end of this section we have included complementary information which you may need in reference to identifying pets. From explaining what a microchip is and what ANICOM is, to what you should do if you find a stray animal without corresponding identification.