What it is
Say you find a lost dog wandering your neighborhood. As a good citizen, what do you do?
|Clyde the bulldog. Photo: public domain.|
You get a call from someone, and they sound both frantic and relieved at the same time: "omigosh, you found my dog! We've been worried sick!"
You meet with the person who gratefully takes said pup off your hands and you feel this warm glow because you've helped reunite a family member.
But then you happen to be cruising through craigslist the next day and you see a photo of the dog you rescued up for sale. You - and the pet's real owner - have just fallen victim to the current new scam: pet flipping.
What you can do
Sometimes even the most meticulous pet owner can lose a pet. It might be a pet sitter who accidentally leaves a door ajar, or a secure fence that develops weaknesses your pup can exploit. Regardless, you can't assume that your indoor pet will remain indoors every moment of their life. And how many of you own pets that you believe are secretly related to Houdini, please raise your hands?
|Houdini? Who, me? *innocent look*|
And yes, this can happen to you.
When we were so personally involved in the fire that devoured Sebastian's home and the homes of 20 other families, two pets were lost.
One, to our knowledge, was never recovered. The other one was found, and restored to his grateful owners, but only because of one little detail: he was microchipped.
Microchips save lives & reunite families
Here are a few facts you may not have known about lost pets, courtesy of Found Animals. And please take special note of how a microchip can improve your chances of reuniting with your cat:
The Good News
An increasing number of shelters are microchipping all animals adopted out. And awareness of the benefits of microchipping your pet is increasing among pet owners.
The Bad News
According to studies published in the Journal of American Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA), over 40% of pets that are implanted with microchips cannot be found in a pet registry database anywhere.
What you need to do
Is your pet microchipped? Great! If not, I urge you to please consider doing so at your earliest convenience. But more importantly, have you registered your microchipped loved one in a registry?
We have. Our three are registered with Petlink, the company associated with our microchip manufacturer. However, we recently received an email from FoundAnimals about a free national microchip registry here in the US.
Regardless of your microchip's manufacture - and regardless of whether or not you're in another registry already - you can enter your information into Found Animal's Microchip registry for free.
According to their website,
"The Found Animals Microchip Registry is a free, nonprofit service dedicated to reuniting lost pets with their families. By registering your pet's microchip number in the Found Animals Microchip Registry, if your pet is ever lost and picked up by a humane organization or individual, you will be contacted via phone, email, and text with information on where your pet can be found.
"There is no coest to use the Found Animals Microchip Registry. You can register any brand of microchip, add pets, and update your information for free online 24/7."
Why registries are important
Did you know? A microchip does not store your pet's information. It simply sends a number to a microchip reader when the reader activates it (the microchip remains completely dormant all other times).
An owner must go online and fill in the information - name, address, contact info, veterinarian, medical issues, etc - or the implanted microchip is, in essence, useless.
So please... Microchip. Register. And update your information regularly.
And please encourage friends and family to do the same.