"Please help me--I've lost my dog

"You've lost your dog--has he got a dog ID tag?" Often, this is the 1st question an animal shelter worker asks when answering a call from a distraught dog owner.

Every year around 10 million dogs pass through the doors of U.S. shelters. This is from a total U.S. dog population of approximately 60 million dogs. Sadly, only 17 out of every 100 of these dogs will ever be returned to their owners.

But, a simple pet ID tag can usually ensure a happy reunion.

Droopy, a beagle, was reunited with her family almost five years after she vanished from the garden of her home in Birmingham U.K. Thanks to a microchip inserted in Droopy as a puppy by her owner, Stuart Stanford.

Found wandering the streets she was taken to the RSPCA shelter in Birmingham. A very surprised Stuart said "When we got the phone call telling us she had been found it was such a shock. I don't know where she was for the past five years. I wish she could talk and tell us."

Suzanne Murphy, a veterinary nurse, said "we often have reunions, but never after such a long time. I didn't think she would recognise her old owners, but she definitely did. " Suzanne added. "The reunion showed how important it was for owners to get a microchip inserted into pets."

West Highland White's with their Pet ID Tags

Microchipping and Lost Dogs

Microchipping simply involves inserting a glass tube, about the size of a grain of rice, with a microchip and antennae inside, under the loose skin between the shoulder blades, just like a vaccination.

Once scanned by a handheld device, a unique identification number is checked against a database, and the pet owner is quickly contacted.

Tattooing is another option. Permanent--usually on the inside of the leg, or the inside of the outer ear. As with microchipping use a specialist.

Your veterinarian will be able to guide you on either of these programs. So if a dog ID tag is your 1st line of defence---microchipping or tattooing is definetly the 2nd.

A collar and ID tag is the simplest way to increase the likelihood of recovering a lost pet. Simply because it is visible, and known to everyone.

So please do............
  1. Use your cell phone number on the tag---its more immediate.
  2. Use your dog's name on the tag. And your surname.
  3. Motivate the finder by offering a small reward.
  4. If you do lose your pet--don't hesitate--take immediate action.
  5. Phone your local animal shelter straight off.
  6. Some local radio stations give air time to people looking for lost pets--ask if your's does?
  7. Likewise, the lost-and-found section of your local newspaper is a top resource.
  8. Do nail up some flyers, with a photo, around the neighbourhood. This one is a must.

Pet ID tags are an efficient means of quickly helping to find a lost dog. A wide range exists. They are as cheap, or as expensive as you want them to be. Why not do your dog and yourself a big favour---And get one?

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