Every day animal shelters across the U.S. hear the same story from distraught pet owners: My pet lives indoors. I never thought he would run away and get lost! The sad fact is that millions of lost pets arrive at U.S. shelters each year and only about 15 percent of dogs and 2 percent of cats without an ID tag or microchip are reunited with their owners.
To increase awareness of the importance of pet identification, the American Humane Association celebrated Every Day Is Tag Day on April 3. This annual event encourages all pet owners to tag and microchip their cats and dogs so that a lost animal has a better chance of returning home if the unthinkable happens.
Approximately 9 million companion animals are admitted to shelters across the country each year, but because of space and resource constraints, many shelters can hold lost animals for only a short time in the hope that the owners will claim their pets. Most lost pets without identification are never reunited with their families, says Dena Fitzgerald, American Humanes program manager for publications and external communications. At the very least, every cat and dog needs a collar and ID tag, but the best solution is to also microchip your pet for permanent identification.
Here are some ways to give lost pets a better chance of returning home:
- Remember that even indoor pets need tags and microchips. Many strays in shelters are indoor pets that escaped and became lost.
- Make sure your pet wears a collar with a current ID tag, rabies tag and city license. Include a contact name, address, and day and evening phone numbers. Consider providing a phone number for an alternate contact, like a neighbor or family member.
- Keep information on your pets license, tags and microchips
When moving or traveling, add a temporary tag to your pet’s collar with the phone number of someone who knows how to reach you.
Click here for more information on Every Day Is Tag Day.
About American Humane
Founded in 1877, the American Humane Association is the only national organization dedicated to protecting both children and animals. Through a network of child and animal protection agencies and individuals, American Humane develops policies, legislation, curricula and training programs to protect children and animals from abuse, neglect and exploitation. The nonprofit organization, headquartered in Denver, raises awareness about The Link between violence to people and violence to animals, as well as the benefits derived from the human-animal bond. American Humanes office in Los Angeles is the authority behind the No Animals Were Harmed end-credit disclaimer on film and TV productions, and American Humanes office in Washington, D.C., is an advocate for child and animal protection at the federal and state levels. The American Humane Certified farm animal program is the nations original independent certification and labeling program for humanely raised food. American Humane meets the strong, comprehensive standards of the Better Business Bureaus Wise Giving Alliance, has been awarded the Independent Charities of Americas Best in America Seal of Approval, has met the stringent standards for financial efficiency and accountability required by the American Institute of Philanthropy to qualify as a Top-Rated Charity, and has received a 3-star rating from Charity Navigator, Americas premier independent charity evaluator. Visit www.americanhumane.org to learn more.
For everything you need to know about pet recovery (including prevention), read The Cat’s Meow’s Guide to Pet Recovery.