Does your pet have a personalized ID tag?
How about a microchip?
A tattoo? (Yes, there are pet ID tattoos.)
A rabies tag?
If not and I’m just going to say this bluntly you’re making a HUGE mistake.
While no statistics really exist to tell us how many pets are lost because they don’t have any identification on them (because according to the ASPCA, most shelters are actually private and not required to keep any sort of statistics about lost pets), but we do know this:
Approximately 5 million to 7 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year, and approximately 3 million to 4 million are euthanized (60 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats). Shelter intakes are about evenly divided between those animals relinquished by owners and those picked up by animal control. These are national estimates; the percentage of euthanasia may vary from state to state.
That means that 1.5 to 2 million pets loved, adored, cherished pets are likely put to sleep each year because they don’t have any identifying information on them when they are picked up by animal control.
This kills me.
Here’s the thing: pet stores have handy machines where, for about $5, you can easily create a custom made tag for your pet is LIKE FIVE SECONDS. And, for THE LOVE OF GOD, don’t just put your pet’s cute name on the tag; include important information like your phone number or address.
Of course, collars can be lost; there are two indelible forms of ID that can’t be lost; tattoos (less popular than they were fifteen years ago) and microchips.
Microchips are AWESOME. These tiny (about the size of a grain of white rice) capsules are injected under your pet’s skin between their shoulder blades, and are easily read using a handheld scanner. Nearly all shelters have these scanners so they can check the pets that come into the shelter and of course notify the owners that their family pet has been found.
So, if you haven’t bothered to tag your pet, take this reminder of National Pet ID week and RUN to get your pet ID today.