SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— Most pet owners would agree that one of the worst possible nightmares is losing your animal. According to the SF SPCA, about 10 million pets are lost in the United States every year.

“This is about 15 percent of dogs and cats,” said Dr. Jennifer Scarlett co-president of the SF SPCA.

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In California, only 16 percent of the dogs that enter will be redeemed by their owners and only two percent of the cats.

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In the event that your pet is lost or stolen, the most widely practiced way to reunite with your pet is through proper identification. It can be as simple as a tag, but of course you have to keep that updated as collars come off and tags wear off.

“Microchips are much, much better. If an animal enters a shelter with a microchip, 75 percent of those will be redeemed to their owners,” Scarlett said.

Microchips are little devices implanted under the skin between the shoulder blades. It emits a unique number when it is scanned. It’s important to keep it up to date, but there’s no chance of the animal losing the microchip.

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Some new and innovative technology has allowed pet owners to find their loved ones before they end up in a shelter. Pawscout is a digital tag and pet finder for cats and dogs that you can use on your phone as an app. You can track your pet within a 200-foot radius.