Microchip & Identification

The Humane Society of Western Montana receives more than 200 lost pets each year from all over our region - less than half of these animals are reunited with their families.  Proper identification, including a collar and current identification tag, are crucial to a wayward pet finding his or her way home. A more permanent form of identification is a microchip.

The Microchip

A pet identification microchip is the size of a grain of rice implanted just beneath the surface of your pet’s skin between the shoulder blades, much in the same way a vaccination is administered.  The microchip is encoded with a unique identification number that is linked to you and your pet’s information.

The Humane Society offers walk-in microchipping for pet owners and for adopters at the time of adoption. The cost is  $35 per pet. We use 24PetWatch microchips. These microchips are scanned by any universal microchip scanner and 24PetWatch Pet Recovery Specialists are on hand 24/7/365 to help lost pets find their way home. 


Microchips are a safe, permanent and painless way of protecting your pet for a lifetime. They allow lost pets to be identified at shelters or vet clinics and increase the chance that your pet will be quickly returned to you.

A microchip is a rice grain-sized transponder, on which a unique number is embedded.

The microchip is inserted using a needle between the shoulder blades of dogs and cats.

It is a relatively painless procedure (similar to a vaccination).

  • Owners are concerned that their pet might become lost and want to have something more than just a collar and tag as a form of identification;
  • We want to improve the chance of lost pets being reunited;

There are three essential components to an effective microchip system:

  • The microchip has a unique number embedded into it;
  • The scanner is used to read the number on the microchip which has been implanted;
  • The database network where your contact information, tied directly to your pet’s microchip number, is stored or registered.

Initial registration is free of charge. You may opt to enroll in the Annual or Lifetime Maintenance Plan, allowing changes/updates to your contact and pet information.

They encourage you to advise them of any changes to your or your pet's information. By enrolling in one of 24PetWatch’s maintenance plans you will be able to maintain the accuracy of your information.

Yes, 24PetWatch microchips are not encrypted and can be read by other scanners.

The chip should last a lifetime, but it is recommended to check it once a year.

Possible complications include bleeding, infection or swelling.

24PetWatch is available to participating shelters at a low fee, and we can pass the savings on to you.