The inspiration for this blog came to me when I picked up little Shih Tzu from the gas staion beside the shop one morning. He was a friendly little guy, just standing outside the door. I bent down to say hi and noticed he had a rabies tag on. I quickly scooped him up and asked the people around at the gas station if he belonged to anyone there, but he did not. Knowing I could track down his owners with rabies identification, I took him with me and proceeded to call the number on his tag. This little guy was lucky enough to have a tag on him. About two hours later, he was reunited with his family. This story could have gone another way, however, if he did not have a tag.

According to the American Humane Society, 5 million companion animals enter shelters nationwide every year. Only 15% of these animals are reunited with their families. That number seems incredibly low. Of those 5 million, 3.5 million are euthanized. This is a sad fact, but there are steps you can take to ensure your pet does not end up being put down simply because they got loose and the pound or shelter they are taken to can’t locate an owner.

Unfortunately, pets escape. For a number of reasons, despite our best intentions, sometimes, our pets get lost. If your dog or cat is picked up by animal control, the officer is tasked with returning the animal to it’s rightful owner. But what if your pet does not have the proper identification tags or rabies tag? How will they be returned to you? You can, of course, call all local shelters and pounds to see if they have brought your dog in and hope you find him there. The more logical way to avoid this is the obvious. Always have your dog or cat current on his rabies vaccination and always have that tag on him, along with another identification tag stating his name and the phone number or address where he lives. You can go a step further and have your pet microchipped. This ensures that even if he loses his collar or tags, someone will be able to contact you.

Dealing with an escaped pet can be a nightmare to any owner. Please take the necessary steps to ensure whoever finds your pet can quickly contact you for a happy and safe reunion!