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.
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.
Nike and Niko: Lost Dogs Recovered By Pet FBI “Special Agent” Teresa
These two fellas had a quick reunion shortly after being posted on Pet FBI Ohio thanks to our very own “special agent”, pal and frequent hero, Teresa!
Teresa lives in the area where they were missing so she hopped in the car to look for them. Teresa often follows a hunch when deciding where to drive and it paid off again today! The boys were trotting along dangerously close to a busy road when Teresa pulled over. She called for them, they ran to her and then hopped in her car!
You, Too Can Become a Pet FBI “Special Agent”!
Here are some things anyone can do to get lost pets back home without officially volunteering:
- Keep an eye out for lost pets in your neighborhood. Follow the database for reports close to your zip to see what pets have gone missing in your area. If you are in Ohio, follow our Pet FBI Ohio Facebook page.
- Be a cross-checker! Some people post a lost or found report in one place, like Craigslist or Facebook and stop there. They have heard of these big sites, but they don’t know about Pet FBI or any other web database. If you are have a good memory or a good system, you may be able to match up lost and found reports from various sites!
- If you live near a pound or a shelter, you could volunteer to be the “go-to” lost and found person. Follow postings for lost and found pets on Pet FBI and various other resources and look for a match at the shelter. (This kind of thing is not high priority at most shelters where volunteers have all to do to care for the many animals.)
- When you see a lost/found flyer around town, contact the people to tell them about Pet FBI.
- Print out some Pet FBI flyers and post them in pet supply stores, convenience stores, community bulletin boards, etc. Just carry some around with you in your purse or in your car and post them when you come across a public bulletin board. Be sure to ask for permission if required.
- Mention Pet FBI to your vet, your groomer, or your pet sitter. Ask them to post a Pet FBI flyer so people learn about it.