Find People: Instructions for Animal Shelters on how to Trace Microchips and Tags

Tag Trace



If you could spend ten minutes researching a disconnected phone number and get a shelter animal home - would you do it?

Here are quick and easy instructions for shelter staff to do free searches and find the lost families of shelter animals.

This is easier than , , because you only need to do the steps in . That small investment in time will get more animals home, free up space, save money, and spread good karma!

06/19/2015   How to Trace Dead End Microchips and Tag Information on Found Animals
by Marilyn Knapp Litt ( marilyn at marilynlitt dot com )  
(Permission to cross-post with this header information left intact.)
These instructions are for use when an animal's contact information leads to a dead end. If you need to trace a chip, go to (Read "How to call on a chip" below) and here is a document on microchips.  
FIRST SOURCES TO CHECK   These sources will only take a few minutes to check  

As of 07/2014, these are sources for free phone numbers and reverse look-up. These change all the time and start charging. If you have to click for more info, you won't get it for free.

A disconnected phone number no longer automatically means a person moved. It can mean the person gave up their landline. So leave a flyer at the address associated with the number.


Search on a person's name to find any contact information

If you do not have the name, search on the address (reverse lookup tab) or phone number to find out the person's name and then search the name.

A good rule of thumb is if you have to click to see additonal infromation, you will have to pay to see the information.

Search on the name.

SECOND SOURCES FOR NAMES   These sources are if you want to give it one more try  
  Name search only   (If the name search fails, you get a service charging a fee. Reverse phone is a fee service only.)

SOCIAL NETWORKS, ETC.   For the persistent searcher!  
  Name   Email   Username   Phone

This is a very interesting resource, at the bottom of the page, suggested FaceBook profiles are pulled up

Name  Phone  Email  Username  Friends

If name search succeeds, you get the info.  If the name search fails, you get a service charging a fee.

You can use a username found on Pipl in the Spokeo search.  People often reuse their username.


FaceBook is a good resource, but I would not use it until the last, unless you are searching an unusual name.  If the first name search does not work, add the city. 

You can also search FaceBook for a phone number! This can be very effective.

A message goes to the other folder unless you are friends. Send a message, but don't count on it to go through. Look to see if there is a place of employment and call their work. Look through their friends list for people with the same last name and try to call their relative at work and send a message.

  Use the "People Search." This is a name search, but like ZabaSearch, will show possible relatives. It may show congregations and organizations.    
  Photocopy of a physical phone book - not in all areas    
  For those who don't want to give up!    


The very best resource you can use is Lexis. It is an expensive data service. Many law offices have access to make background reports.

A reverse phone number or address search will  give you the name of a person.

A neighbor search on an address gives you the names of people who live nearby and who should be called as they may know where the family moved.

Do not stop with leaving one message.  The person may not be home and might be reading FaceBook.  Or someone might not use FaceBook, but might answer the phone. The trick is to leave many messages at different places.

IF you have to make an extra click to see the info you searched on, a screen will pop up to charge you. This is without exception.  The pay service may or may not give you the information needed. Sometimes they will give you a refund and sometimes you will end up with monthly charges or even be scammed. You need to be vigilant if you pay, but of course you might get exactly what you were looking for.

This is meant to be a resource to quickly try and break through a dead end.  The many creative ways to find an animal's lost family are beyond the scope of these instructions.  For additional help finding someone, .


Military Owners

If you think the owner is in the military, you can always "guess" at the address:

For years, the primary format for Army e-mail looked like this:

Of course, soldiers with common names would get an address like:

Now, the Army has created a new format that looks like this:

That's what a soldier's e-mail address would look like. An Army civilian employee or contractor would have an e-mail address like this:

BOTH FORMATS ARE USED. You may guess at an address if you have a soldier's name. The other branches have their own format.

If you know the base, you may be able to contact HR. They will not tell you how to contact someone in the military, but they may pass on a
message about a missing dog if you are polite. You may also find support groups on FaceBook for the base that could be helpful.


How to Call on a Chip

When you call the company, always be friendly. State that you are calling trying to find the family of an animal. If you are working or volunteering for a rescue or shelter - be sure to state that right away.

You want to know every bit of information they have and ask for that. Double-check all spelling and numbers.

If the chip was not registered, ask if they can tell who implanted the chip and if not, who bought the chip. (Chips are sold by range and sometimes that can be a clue.) I like to call late at night when the staff will not be as busy.


Here is everything I know on chips and tatoos. ( I call it my chip "bible.")