Every year millions of dogs and cats end up in shelters. Only 2% of cats and 15% of dogs are reunited with their owner. Dogs and cats who are wearing ID tags are microchipped are much more likely to be reunited with an anxious owner.
ID tags that can be placed on a dog's collar should include the dog's name, the owner's name and address, 2 phone numbers (preferably home and cell -- so that if you are out looking for your dog, someone can reach you easily), and a notation regarding any medical issues the dog has. Most big box pet stores have "make your own id" machines right in the store. Most vet offices will have forms to order a tag by mail. There are also numerous places to order ID tags online -- my personal favorite is Boomerang Tags. If you don't like the sound of tags clanging around, you can purchase a tag that slips onto the collar and lies flat or purchase a Quiet Spot (for sale locally at Chuck and Dons locations). You can also purchase collars with the dog's name and phone number embroidered into the webbing.
Microchips are small chips (about the size of a grain of rice) that are inserted beneath the dog's skin between their shoulder blades. The insertion is quick and virtually painless for the dog - along the lines of routine vaccination shots. Vet offices, shelters, rescues and animal control facilities have hand-held devices which can read these chips (transmitted via radio frequency by waving the device over the dogs back). The microchip transmits an identification number to the chip reader. The vet/shelter can then call the microchip company with the identification number to obtain the contact information for the owner from their database. The advantage of microchipping is that the dog can be identified even if they have slipped or broken free from their collar. All Pet Haven dogs and cats are microchipped prior to adoption.
If you already have ID tags and microchips for your pets, please take the time this week to make sure that you have accurate and up-to-date contact information on your tags and on file with the microchip company.
Accidents happen -- doors are propped open, gates are accidentally left unlatched, dogs spot a squirrel and pull the leash out of their owner's hand, etc. Please make sure that your dogs and cats are easily identified so that happy reunions are possible.
Check out Bishop (above) sporting his Pet Haven ID tag. You can't see it, but he's also microchipped!
Sadie is still on the run, please keep an eye out for her if you are in the Longfellow area of Minneapolis.
Don't forget to vote for Pet Haven in the Animal Rescue Site $100,000 Shelter Challenge!