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Pet Recovery

August 07, 2008  |  Difficulty: Easy

You never think it can happen to you, but pets don’t really think before they run… they just run!  And sometimes they can run far and get lost, especially if they get out of your house or yard when you are not around.  Protecting your pet with a micro-chip plus an identification tag can ensure your pet’s safe return home.

Here are all the common ways of protecting your pet and ensuring pet recovery should he get lost:

Identification tags:   This is the least expensive way to protect your dog.  If you renew his registration with your county every year, those tags can point him back home if he is recovered by strangers, the police or the pound.   The only problem with tags is that sometimes owners remove them or they can be easily lost or removed. You can buy other tags online or at a retail pet store in addition to the ones provided by your county.  Also, if you vacation with your dog, be sure to create a travel tag that displays your name, hotel name and cell phone number in case he should get loose while you are away from home.

A micro-chip:  These are tiny transponders usually placed on the back of your pet’s neck in the scruff.  These metal chips are usually about the size of a dried grain of rice and they carry a unique identification number which corresponds to your name and address.  This way you can be located easily by law enforcement and animal shelters. Almost all pound puppies and dogs adopted from shelters are automatically micro-chipped. Most pounds, shelters and vet offices have a scanner to read the chips in case an unknown dog crosses their path.  They use that information to call a 24-hour hotline that has your contact information available. Micro-chip plans generally include the chip insertion and a fee for lifetime registration in the program.  Vets can charge $25-$60 for this service and shelters do it for as little as $15 which ends up being part of your adoption fee.

Tattoos:  Having your pet tattooed is another way to accomplish the same result of recovery, however it requires shaving to complete the procedure. Sometimes the tattoo may not be visible under new fur growth, which would be hard to find in the case of a stray, frightened animal.

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