This past week on Facebook, a dear friend of mine posted that her dog had gone missing. As you can imagine, she was beside herself with worry and fear, and her children we inconsolable. As a professional pet sitter and dog walker, this is our worst nightmare to hear from anyone-our clients, friends and community.
She did everything seemingly right-she had a microchip on her dog, she called Animal Control, the local shelter and posted signs wherever she could. She was stricken with worry. It affected her life and the lives of her children, who were heartbroken.
What she didn’t have on her dog was a simple pet ID tag. Why? She thought if the dog got lost, whoever finds it will take it to a vet, the shelter or wherever to have the microchip read.
Sadly, we hear this same story over and over. “My dog has a microchip!” (meaning in English, my dog will always get back to me because anyone can read it and it will be guaranteed!) What the issue is, is that not every facility has the reader to scan the microchip, not everyone can read it, even if they do, and not every shelter has the capacity to make calls to owners and look up endless lists of lost pets. Our shelters are already overcrowded; the volunteers and staff are overworked.
Luckily, she was returned to my friend. Here is her post:
Cocoa has been found! She has been at animal control since Friday. (three days after she was lost) While we are VERY RELIEVED AND THANKFUL something has come out of this situation that all animal owners should know: do NOT depend solely on your pet’s microchip! The shelter that had Cocoa did not contact us. Why? They said she didn’t have a chip. We found out today their 1 scanner was not working – but the other was. If we had depended on them to follow up and contact us, Cocoa would have never made it back to us. We had a happy ending because we kept calling. Thank you all for keeping us in thoughts and prayers. Our girl is home!
What to do?
Get a collar with tag on your dog, your cat and your beloved pets and LEAVE IT ON AT ALL TIMES! We recommend getting the 1-800 Help4Pets tag and we give them to our daily dog walking clients at our meet and greets. Many of our pet sitting clients just put their collars on when they are going outside for a dog walk. Not a great idea-dogs and cats are prone to “bolting” when they see something more interesting than a dog leash..for example, a squirrel, the UPS truck, another dog, etc.
Many will complain-“I hate the sound of the clicking and clanging of the tags against each other.” Did you know you can buy “silencers?” These handy pouches will take the noise out of the process and also protect your pets.
Do not delay. This story could have happened to you and your beloved animals. Its easy, simple, inexpensive and literally priceless to protect your pets. Please don’t let the end up on the Lost Dogs of Wisconsin website!