New ‘smart’ licensing tags at Front Street Animal Shelter may help you find lost pets sooner

The City of Sacramento is rolling out new pet licenses that may help you locate lost pets sooner, according to Front Street Animal Shelter.

Any pets licensed at Front Street will receive a PetHub license tag, which comes printed with a QR code that leads to a “pet profile” of your furry friend. As soon as the tag is scanned, “it sends a text to say someone found your pet,” said Gina Knepp, manager of Front Street Shelter for the City of Sacramento. “So you’ll know something is up right away.”

The tag also includes your pet’s licensing number and two 24-hour phone numbers to call, in case the person who finds the animal can’t scan the QR code.

Pet owners in the City of Sacramento can already call 311 for help locating pets, but there can be wait times for an operator. PetHub’s phone line offers an alternative, and also runs 24 hours.

Once pet owners receive their license tag, they can log on to PetHub to upload a photo of their pet along with their name and contact information, Knepp said. Owners can also opt into paid premium PetHub services, which include GPS tracking when pets’ tags are scanned and “shelter alerts” that let area shelters know to keep an eye out for the missing pet.

If your pet is already licensed through the city of Sacramento and you want to upgrade to a PetHub tag, you can visit Front Street Shelter to change out your tag for an upgrade fee of $5.

Front Street is also offering free microchip and rabies vaccine services when you license a pet. Microchips are a popular way to register pets in case they get lost, but require a microchip scanner to locate the information.

The PetHub tags offer a second layer of security on top of microchips, Knepp said. The tags are easy to see and can be used immediately. Because they’re on the collar and seen frequently, pet owners are more likely to remember to update their pet’s information and photo on PetHub, which should be done yearly for microchips too, Knepp said.

According to PetHub’s website, about 96% of pets found through its services are home in the first 24 hours.

Knepp said the new tags didn’t cost the city of Sacramento any extra money over their old metal tags. Knepp said PetHub, when contracting with the city, offered to sell Front Street the tags for the same price they were paying for the metal tags.

These licenses are offered to pet owners who live within city limits only, but for those outside of city limits, PetHub’s website sells tags starting at $10 that include their basic service plan, free.

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