Whether it is lost or stolen, losing a pet is an agonizing experience. According to the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy, approximately 584,000 cats enter animal shelters in the United States every year as strays, yet only about 2% of these cats are ever reunited with their owners. That means that fewer than three out of every hundred cats entering animal shelters are reunited with their owners.
The reason is shockingly simple; too many owners fail to put identification on their cats to ensure their safe return home. Yet, even the most responsible pet owners can experience unexpected circumstances that cause cats to accidentally stray and become lost or injured. This is especially true during summer when windows and doors tend to be left open.
The following are common types of identification that can mean the difference between life and death for your best friend. With all of these methods, it is imperative to keep your information up to date.
All cats and dogs need to wear collars with city licenses and rabies vaccination tags, personal ID tags are essential backups. The tag should include the owner’s name address and telephone (day and night) and the pet’s name.
- If you are willing to pay a reward, put the word “reward” on the tag, too.
- If you are traveling, put a temporary tag on your pet with the contact information of someone who knows how to reach you.
- Use a collar especially made for cats that has a short piece of elastic sewn in it. These collars allow the cat to escape if it gets caught on furniture or other material.
- Tag your cat even if you never let it outside. It could slip through an open door and easily become lost in the neighborhood.
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This is a tiny electronic capsule that is embedded under the pet’s skin. Microchipping is a great resource because when a pet is found, any agency with a scanner, including many animal care and control agencies, veterinary clinics and research labs, can quickly identify a code that links the animal to its owner through a database. This information must be up to date.
Your pet needs a microchip even if it wears a collar with tags because a microchip provides permanent ID that cannot fall off, be removed, or become impossible to read. Proper identification is your single best chance for finding your missing companion! We offer low-cost microchipping at our Preventive Health Care Clinic to help assist you in properly caring for your pet. Please call 941-474-7884 for more information or to set up an appointment.