The statistics about lost pets are startling and, for pet lovers, the numbers will be downright terrifying. According to leading animal rights organizations, of the estimated 80 million dogs in the U.S., a startling 4 million of our four-legged family members are lost or stolen each year.
The number doubles when we consider how many pets end up in shelters across the U.S. yearly – more than 8 million. That means countless families every year are suffering that enduring pain that no one but a pet parent could ever realize or understand. We at Lucky & Lady® believe one pet missing from one human life is one too many, especially considering how few will eventually return home.
Pets who actually find home according to published reports:
- Only about 22 percent of dogs that enter shelters will be reunited with their pet parents
- Less than 2 percent of cats that enter shelters will be reunited with their pet parents
August 15th is “Check the Chip Day.”
Consider this: just more than half of micro-chipped pets are properly registered in the databases. If your pet becomes lost, would someone know how to reunite you with your pet? Chances are 50/50. Not good.
As you hug and love your pet family member, we encourage you to consider these important and easy things to do, beyond ensuring your pet’s microchip is properly registered:
- Ensure your pet has a secure, and properly adjusted collar, with a clearly readable and identifiable tag attached
- The tag should, at the least, identify the pet’s name and current phone number of the pet parents
- Pet parents should never walk dogs or cats without a leash
- Ensure any fence or outdoor enclosure at your home is secure and will absolutely prevent your loved one from wandering
- Ensure you can rapidly locate photos of your pets in the event you need to create “lost pet” posters or share information with others – every minute will count as dogs can wander three miles in just one hour
- In the event your pet becomes separated from you, know in advance who you’ll want to alert (e.g. animal hospitals, pet stores, pet location services, etc.)
Because one in three pets will become lost at some point during their life, we encourage pet parents to microchip their fur babies and ensure the contact information is updated with the manufacturer of the microchip, as the manufacturers manage the only databases that animal shelters and veterinarians can search.
If you need help in identifying your pet’s microchip, the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) has a tool that may help.
Following is a list of microchip manufacturers that participate in the AAHA Universal Pet Microchip Lookup Tool:
- AKC Companion Animal Recovery (AKC-CAR)
- Found Animals
- Microchip I.D. Systems
- Save This Life
- SmartTag Microchip
Lucky & Lady® encourages you to share this infographic provided by the American Veterinary Medical Association. And our thanks to the Riggs family for recently pointing us to this information on tracking your pet with GPS and a variety of other resources.