National Pet ID Week
Realizing that your pet is missing from your home is a nightmare for any pet owner. In honor of National Pet ID Week, we want to share some tips for ensuring a safe return. While we are diligent as pet owners in keeping our pets safe in our homes, it is important to remember that ANY pet can get lost. Adventurous felines and curious canines can slip through open doors during parties or when we have workers in our homes. Pets unattended in the yard can get curious and nose their way out of gates when we turn our heads for a brief moment. Events like fires or other natural disasters can lead to pets escaping the house.
"While statistics vary from community to community and state to state, stray animals could account for 40 to 60 percent of the total animal intake in animal shelters that take in strays," said Dr. Emily Weiss, vice president of shelter research and development for the ASPCA. "Combined with the fact that the return-to-owner (RTO) rate in most communities hovers between 10 and 30 percent for dogs and less than 5 percent for cats, we know that these lost pets are not finding their way home. But personalized ID tags that contain contact information for the dog or cat owner can help assure lost animals are quickly reunited with their owners."
Here are some tips to keeping your pet easily identifiable:
-Make sure your pet always has a collar with tags. Even the laziest cat that does not leave the house can wander. Make sure the tag has a phone number where you can be reached and remember to update the tag if your number changes.
-Microchip your pet! Any veterinarian’s office or animal emergency room, along with some police stations are equipped with microchip scanners to help identify your pet. A microchip the size of a grain of rice is inserted between the shoulders and is easily the most efficient way to track your pet, as collars can sometimes break.
-Keep Microchip information updated! Once registered, make sure to keep all information related to your pets microchip updated. Always contact your microchip company with changes of address, phone number, and even email address.
Know your resources:
In the event that your pet goes missing, knowing what steps to take to ensure a happy homecoming is important. Contacting your Veterinarian’s office to inform them can help them keep an eye out and reach out to the community. Many of us choose a veterinarian that is local to our neighborhood and with help sharing missing pet information on social media can help bring our furry friend home as soon as possible.
Reaching out to your local Veterinary Emergency Hospital can alert the staff to any incoming “strays”. Oftentimes good Samaritans will bring a lost cat or dog to their local ER to be scanned for a microchip and help facilitate a happy reunion. In my personal ER experience, we have seen many dogs that were brought in by someone who lives a block or two away from the pet’s home and they were reunited with their family in a matter of hours.
Posting on social media in neighborhood groups and lost pet groups such as Lost Dogs Illinois https://www.facebook.com/LostDogsIllinois/