Losing a pet can be a terrifying experience. Even if your dog or cat is never allowed outdoors without supervision, you should always ensure it has proper identification in case it ever becomes lost or stolen. Proper identification could mean the difference between life and death for your best friend.
The most common forms of ID include:
1) An ID tag*. A personal ID tag can attach easily onto your pet’s collar. At a minimum, it should include your name and phone number. Additional information can include your address, your pet’s name and an alternate phone number. If you’re willing to pay a reward, you may also want to include the word “reward” on the tag.
2) A tattoo. A tattoo involves permanently marking a unique code on the pet’s skin, usually on the belly. By calling a database, this code can be used to obtain your address and phone number.
3) A microchip**. Microchips are tiny, rice-sized capsules injected painlessly under an animal’s coat. If your animal is brought into any vet’s office or animal shelter, the microchip can be scanned and its unique number can be matched to your contact information. Microchipping is a safe, convenient way to permanently identify your pet and is recommended by most veterinarians and rescue organizations.
Remember, with each of these identification methods, it is critical that your current contact information is kept up to date.
Should your pet ever become lost, be sure to act fast! Don’t wait for your pet to come home on its own. If your pet was adopted from Pet Harbor, contact us! Also, consider this helpful information provided by the Michigan Humane Society:
1) Call your local animal control or police to alert them of your missing pet and inquire if any stray animals have been picked up matching your pet’s description. Leave your contact information.
2) Take a walk. Sweep the area on foot that your pet was last seen. Be sure to talk to neighboors, mail carriers or others working in the area about your lost pet. Take at least one walk daily.
3) Post flyers. Download a template and create a flyer for your lost pet that you can post, with permission, in local businesses and municipalities. You will need a clear, recent photo of your pet. Include your phone number(s). Adding a reward can be helpful.
4) Leave food and water and something familiar (such as a blanket, bed or favorite toy) outside near your door. Animals may return on their own when no one is home, and having food, water and something familiar may encourage them to stay in the area.
5) Visit in person your local animal shelters, daily. There are most likely several facilities in your are that could have your pet. Start with the facility that is legally responsible for holding strays in your area (usually, but not always, this is an animal control shelter). Then visit other nearby facilities as well.
Other options include posting an ad in your local newspaper, posting an ad on Craigslist or another online classifieds site, searching the “found” sections of your local newspaper and online classifieds sites, informing your vet and/or pet groomer, and contacting local radio stations that may broadcast your pet’s information for you.
*Every dog adopted from Pet Harbor Rescue and Referral is required to forever wear a Pet Harbor tag. Please contact us if you need a replacement tag.
**All cats and dogs adopted from Pet Harbor Rescue and Referral are microchipped. The microchips are registered to Pet Harbor and, thus, Pet Harbor will be notified if your missing animal has been found. We will then contact you with your animal’s location. If you have moved or changed your phone number since you adopted your pet, please call or email us to confirm that we have your most current contact information.