Dr. Scheuerman said that theives can't just change the microchip information to match their own, because a third-party company keeps it-- which requires personal information in order to access the account.

Allen said that may be so, but said all pet owners need to be vigilant about asking their vets to routinely scan new animals they see at their practices. She said in her search for Fergie, she found most vets don't even check microchips, unless they're specifically asked to.

"If you're gonna put chips in dogs, you need to be committed to checking them, otherwise they're worthless," said Allen. "Especially in these little dogs, because they don't end up at the pound, not very often. They're stolen or lost and somebody finds them and they're resold."

But she hasn't given up hope that one day she will be reunited with Fergie.

"I feel like if I forget it, I'm just giving up on her," she said. "You hear about dogs being found years later, so I just keep hoping maybe one day, somebody will find her."

Find more ways you protect your pethere.