It’s one of the worst things imaginable: losing a pet. It can make cat and dog owners feel so helpless. The statistics are high and state that one in three pets will get lost. And consider that 90 percent of those that aren’t identified won’t be recovered.
The old way of looking for a lost pet involved knocking on your neighbors’ doors and putting posters up on phone poles. While these tactics can still be very useful, identification systems for animals have almost made them obsolete.
Most municipalities require pet owners to license their pets and with that comes tags. In addition to these, most pet owners “tag” their pets with their name, address and phone number.
Benefits of tagging your pet:
Disadvantages of tagging your pet:
Many breeders and humane shelters offer the option of microchipping your pet before you take them home. Your vet can also microchip your cat at any age.
A microchip is placed between a cat’s shoulder blades with a needle. Animals stay awake while it’s done. It is about the size of a grain of rice so animals aren’t aware they’ve been “chipped.” The owner then registers the chip number.
A receiver in the microchip picks up a low-frequency radio wave sent via a scanner, and the identification number in the chip is received, read and then displayed on the scanner. Most vets, rescue centers and animal wardens have scanners, though not all microchips and scanners are compatible.
Advantages of Microchipping:
Disadvantages of Microchipping:
GPS Tracking Devices, about the size of a business card – are worn on your pet’s collar. You can track your pet’s location by calling or texting the device and get his exact location, and even directions.
Benefits of a GPS tracking device:
Disadvantages of a GPS tracking device:
Pet Recovery Services offer several ways to help you find your pet. Organizations such as Dogster have large networks of members and participants. Combining technology, community resources and social networking, Dogster’s Together Tag can help you find your lost pet.
Advantages of pet recovery services:
Disadvantages of pet recovery services:
Using pet recovery services in conjunction with tagging, microchipping and/or GPS devices can really help ensure that you find your pet. But don’t forget that putting posters up around the neighborhood is still a good way to go.
Photo: BLH Photography