Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control

skip to main content


Positive identification that cannot be lost, falsified, or altered is essential to reuniting lost pets with their families.  Hundreds of thousands of lost pets have been reunited with their distraught families because the pets were microchipped.  While tags can become lost or damaged and tattoos can fade or be altered, microchips provide permanent identification that cannot be changed.  Due to the presence of a microchip, this department has reunited owners with pets that had been missing for as long as five years.

The Los Angeles County Code requires all dogs to be microchipped. 

Microchipping is a simple, non-surgical procedure.   Microchipping of animals is a customary practice – millions of dogs and cats, horses, livestock, birds, wildlife, and endangered species are chipped.

The microchip, which is approximately the size of a grain of rice, is injected beneath the skin with a needle, similar to a vaccination.  There is no anesthesia required and even the smallest animals such as fish, puppies, and kittens can be safely microchipped.

Each microchip has a unique code number. When a special, hand-held scanner is passed over the area where the microchip has been implanted, the scanner “reads” the microchip and displays its code number.  Code numbers are stored in a national database where the owner’s contact information is maintained.  The animal care agency can then retrieve the owner information from the database and contact the owner so they can promptly recover their pet.

Please help us reduce the number of lost pets by having your pets microchipped.  Contact your local animal care center to find out their microchip clinic schedule.