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A beautiful Pitbull named Pee-Dee was dognapped and missing for more than a month before her captors dumped her at a shelter almost 300 miles away from home. Thankfully, thanks to a microchip implanted by the Charleston Animal Society, Pee-Dee was reunited with her owner!
Does your pet carry ID?
It is recommended that all pets do as one out of three family pets will get lost! The American Humane Association estimates that more than 10 million cats and dogs are lost or stolen in the United States every year, and without some form of identification, 90% of lost pets never return home. Arming your pet with some form of identification can increase his or her chances of returning home safely to you!
April 17 through 23rd, 2020 is National Pet ID Week. Keep reading below to learn the many ways you can ID your pet and keep them safe if they were to become lost.
Types of Pet ID
A collar or harness with a tag is a good start, however, tags can fall off. If your pet wears an ID tag, check it regularly 1) To make sure it is still there; 2) That you can read the information as printing or engraving can rub off, and 3) That the information is correct. If you move or change your cell phone number, you must remember to update your dog or cat’s ID Tag as well.
Registry companies also offer tags with QR (Quick Response) Codes so that anyone who finds your pet, can scan the tag with their cell phone to obtain the owner’s information. Another option is to have your phone number imprinted onto your dog’s collar. Big and bold, it is often easy for strangers to read at a distance, even if they cannot approach your pet.
Additionally, a microchip is a form of pet identification that is permanent, cannot fall off, be altered or removed. Not much bigger than a grain of rice, microchips can keep pets and people together!
“We don’t know how Shadow got out of the backyard,” explains Pamela of Cartersville, Georgia. “My husband was mowing the lawn when he realized Shadow was gone. We immediately began searching the area. Ten minutes later, my husband received a call from our microchip company that a Good Samaritan found Shadow. She was still in our neighborhood and was safe!”
When an animal is found and taken to a shelter or veterinary clinic, one of the first things done is to scan the animal for a microchip, and 99% of shelters have scanners.
Microchips operate on radio waves activated when a scanner is passed over them. The chip transmits to the scanner, via a visual display, an identification number unique to your pet. Microchips do not use batteries or have moving parts. They are made of biocompatible materials that will not degenerate. Once in place, they can last a pet’s lifetime as nothing wears out or needs to be replaced. You must, however, keep all information associated with the chip’s ID number, up-to-date. Should you move, change your phone number, email or even your veterinarian, make it a priority to inform your microchip company at once. Also, ask to have your pet scanned at his annual vet visit to give you peace of mind that the microchip is working properly and that the information you have provided is correct.
Some of the Most Common Microchip Brands
Many chip companies offer an alert system so that once you report your pet missing, the information can then be broadcasted to shelters and veterinarians in the area. This can multiply the chance that your beloved best friend will be found and returned safely to you.
Tinkerbell, a female Mastiff, was spooked by Fourth of July Fireworks. Her family searched for days but could not find her. A passerby spotted the dog, injured and afraid, in the Los Angeles River! The L.A. Fire Department lifted Tinkerbell to safety, and located her family, thanks to a microchip injected between her shoulders.
As technology advances by the day, there are now even wearable GPS devices for pets. Typically, a collar or attachment containing a chip that can locate your pet’s position and sends the information to your smartphone via an app. Some monitor more than where your pet’s paws are at a moment in time, such as his health, sleep patterns, and other worthy stats. A GPS Tracker should not be a substitute, but rather a complement to a microchip and/or tag. If someone locates your pet, they might not be able to find you via the tracker alone.
Why Should Your Pet Carry ID?
According to Home Again®, their microchips have returned more than 2 million lost pets, making happy reunions! A study of more than 7,700 stray animals taken into animal shelters showed that dogs without microchips were returned to their owners 21.9% of the time, while microchipped dogs were returned to their owners 52.2% of the time.
Here at PetFirst, we know accidents and illnesses happen to all pets – even if they are safe at home or separated from their loving family. PetFirst is here for every canine and cat. Pet insurance can help cover unexpected vet visits. Make sure your pet is covered with PetFirst Pet Insurance. We have Dog Insurance Policies and Routine Care Coverage to fit every budget.
Why should your pet carry ID? To ensure that your pet can be returned quickly and safely to the people they care about the most – their family.