It is not unusual to come across a news item about a cat or a dog that has been reunited after five, seven, or even ten years. Usually, as in the case of Boozer shown in our previous post, it is because the owner was traced through a microchip that had been previously overlooked. A microchip is a tiny identification device, about the size of a grain of rice, that is implanted beneath the skin of your pet. Each chip contains a unique identification number. When a pet is found, it can be scanned at an animal shelter or veterinary clinic. The owners contact information is associated with that number recorded in a registry.
Unlike ID tags, microchips are permanent yet even they are not foolproof. Sometimes they migrate from the spot where usually implanted and are missed. Occasionally at a busy
Sheldon: Traced through microchip to the shelter where he was adopted
shelter, the scanning protocol may be overlooked. Also, there are multiple microchip registries and that leads to confusion Another drawback is that pet parents forget to update their contact information with the registry and then it is no longer possible to trace them easily. Also some people do not know about microchips and if they rescue a stray they may not know to have it scanned by a vet or a shelter which is usually a courtesy service, that is – no charge.
Many companies now offer microchips for pets. They are not terribly expensive. Often humane societies offer low-cost microchipping, so ask your local humane society or consult your vet. Remember, having some form of ID for your pet, especially a microchip, will greatly increase its chances of recovery.
Boozer was lost almost 10 years ago, when his family was in the process of moving. They never expected to see him again after so long but Boozer was eventually surrendered to a shelter that scanned him and found the microchip that lead to this remarkable reunion.
Mikey was back home within 24 hours thanks to 254 “shares” on the Pet FBI Ohio Facebook page.
Statistics indicate that most lost pets are recovered within 30 days. But the time varies greatly depending on whether it is a cat or a dog. Most people will notice a stray dog and even try to help it. Lost cats are inclined to be furtive and they are harder to spot. Also people just ignore them because free-roaming cats are not unusual. A lot of cat owners disregard the dangers to free-roaming cats and let their cats outside. Another reason people don’t bother with a stray cat is the myth that a cat can “fend for itself”. Consequently, it may be many weeks or months before a lost cat “surfaces” and allows itself to be taken in or trapped.
Pet FBI has had many cases where cats or dogs were reunited months after they went missing. Do not give up too soon! If you have not recovered your lost pet after 30 days, you should renew your efforts: extend the area where you put up your flyers; continue to check the shelters and online resources like the Pet FBI database, Facebook and Craigslist, etc.
Tina, an alert Animal Control officer in Columbus Ohio follows our lost and found Ohio pet Facebook page. While looking over the new posts she remembered a phone call from a new foster parent about a missing dog that was deaf. It happened that this pooch had distinctive markings in addition to being deaf, so it was a pretty solid match. In fact, within 30 minutes a happy reunion took place.
Never underestimate the power of Facebook! When there is a conscientious admin and a huge faithful following, successful reunions soon abound. Over the years Pet FBI Ohio’s Facebook page has achieved 36,000 likes and growing. An army of faithful friends share posts, research other sources of information for possible matches, and sometimes even pound the pavement in an effort to find a lost pet. So far this month (April 20) there have been 80 happy reunions through Facebook and there are still many days to go! Thanks to all our devoted friends for helping Pet FBI fulfill its mission of reuniting lost pets and their families.
HERE ARE JUST A FEW OF THE EIGHTY LUCKY DOGS!
Lost dog from Columbus ends up in Cleveland
This darling dog was spotted shivering and soaking wet at the side of the road by a Good Sam in Columbus, Ohio. Since he was on his way home to Cleveland he stopped to pick up the poor pooch and brought him home with him. Meanwhile her anguished Dad posted a lost report on the Pet FBI Ohio Facebook page. Hundreds of shares later, the item reached the news feed of the Good Sam who immediately contacted the owner. Here is is happily reunited.
OBJECT LESSON: Lost pets often end up far from home either on their own, or because they were rescued through circumstances that led to them ending up far far away. While most pets are found close to home, especially cats, always extend your search to shelters and media farther away,
Sally and her little girl
This beautiful kitty was the darling of a little girl. When Sally went missing the little girl resisted going to school. She wanted to stay home to await Sally’s return. Mom was desperate, suffering for both Sally and her grieving little daughter. Then she posted on the Pet FBI Ohio Facebook page. The picture and the situation tugged at the heartstrings of our ace admin, Char, who contacted the Mom. Char explained that most cats don’t go far, especially during the first few days, and the best strategy is to try to attract the cat back. She encouraged her to appeal to Sally’s sense of smell by using familiar and fragrant scents to entice her to return. There are some good tips on our web site page “Tips-to-lure-a-cat-back-home”. It worked! Ten minutes later the Mom texted Char that Sally had come out of hiding. When the little girl got off the school bus there was her Mom with Sally. You can see the love in her sweet face!
Tiny Pooch Recovered through Facebook
Our Pet FBI Ohio Facebook pal, Charlene, overheard a co-worker discussing a small dog she had found. The co-worker was did not have a Facebook account but Charlene whipped out her mobile phone and scrolled down and there was a post for an identical dog! It was indeed Tiny, now happily reunited.
From left to right:
Bill, Kyle, Maresa and Ryan – the Columbus Bar Crawl Guys and Pet FBI Director
There’s a group of great guys, old school chums from Columbus Ohio, that sponsor a bar crawl each year to benefit a local charity. At this year’s Crawl on April 9 Kyle, Ryan and Bill raised $1,200 for Pet FBI!
A few months back Kyle’s fifteen year old hound dog went missing. As often happens when a pet goes missing, Kyle who is normally a well-focused, organized and rational kind of person went all to pieces. A neighbor suggested Pet FBI. Kyle sent a post with a picture of Cody to Facebook/PetFBI Ohio. Our ace admin, Char, moved it to the timeline and messaged him with encouragement and advice. Within hours the Good Sam who had found Cody saw the Facebook post and contacted Kyle. He was so relieved he broke down in tears. It was a joyful reunion.
Now Kyle has paid it forward in spades by sponsoring a great bar crawl to benefit Pet FBI. Participating sponsors besides many friends and co-workers were Westies Gastro Pub, Valters at Mannerchor, Jimmy V’s, Hey Hey Bar and Grill, & Planks Bier garten, all in German Village. THANK YOU, ALL!
These two darling kids (baby goats) disappeared from a field near Plain City, a rural area of Ohio. Their caretaker was pretty worried. Had they been snatched by a passerby and turned into a tender meal? Had a coyote gotten them? Had they jumped the fence and been struck by a car?
Two Kids Who Made it Back Home Thanks to Pet FBI Ohio Facebook
She posted on the Pet FBI Facebook page and within 25 hours the post was shared 621 times and reached over 24,000 feeds. One of those came across a neighbor. Goats are notorious for not keeping to where they are supposed to stay and they had evidently made their way over to a neighbor’s field. The neighbor was surprised and relieved to find they had a home elsewhere and she was able to reunite them with their caretaker.
OBJECT LESSON: Do not underestimate the power of Facebook! If you post to a popular page like Pet FBI Ohio, with 35,000 friends and growing, your chances for a match are very favorable.
“Chaos” reunited with his “big brother”
This sweet pooch shown here with his happy “big brother” had escaped the yard and been picked up and taken to Franklin County Dog Shelter in Columbus, OH. His family had posted his picture on the Pet FBI Ohio Facebook page. Fortunately, Nicole, one of our Facebook followers, spotted him at the shelter, remembered his post and alerted the family. A happy reunion ensued.
CONVENTIONAL WISDOM: Most lost pets are reunited through a shelter.
REALITY CHECK: Relatively few strays are reclaimed before being euthanized or adopted out to others.
According to a study done by the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) only 17-30% of dogs in shelters are ever reclaimed by their owners and only 2-5 % of cats. Why so few? Basically it’s a question of timing. At most shelters, dogs and especially cats can be held for only a limited time. If the pet’s family isn’t there at the critical time…. that pet will either be put down or adopted out. Most shelters do not post their intakes to a public database. Most owners cannot check the shelters as often as necessary and it is generally useless to just call or even send a flyer. You must go to a shelter in person and see for yourself. In a large urban shelter there may be hundreds of cats and / or dogs impounded at any time. Please encourage your local shelter to take advantage of the free, searchable database at petfbi.org.