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We’ve all heard the stories. A beloved dog or cat goes missing, owners frantically searching for them, grasping for a glimmer of hope they will be returned. From posts on social media to missing signs plastered across neighborhoods, one doesn’t need to look hard for examples of this trauma. According to American Humane, approximately 10 million pets are lost every year in the US.[i] To many, this number is likely shocking. How is it possible so many dogs and cats go missing every year when it seems the world is more interconnected than ever? More importantly, what can we do to decrease this number? Since last week was National Pet ID Week, there is no better time to discuss this.
The first thing that we recommend to folks who come to our facilities is to make sure their dogs and cats have ID tags and wear them. This might seem odd to mention, but it is vital. In a study done by the ASPCA (not affiliated with the Tulsa SPCA), “while 80% of pet owners claim it is important for pets to wear ID tags, only 33 percent said they always have ID tags on their pets.”[ii] Furthermore, American Humane notes, “Tragically, only 15 percent of dogs and 2 percent of cats in shelters without ID tags and/or microchips are reunited with their owners.”[iii] It is also recommended to go one step further, ensuring your dog or cat is microchipped. Erin Johnson, Tulsa SPCA Clinic Manager, stated, “Microchipping is a quick and easy procedure that can be done here or at any vet and is non-invasive.” Think of this as an extra layer of identification that cannot accidentally fall off or be forgotten. At the Tulsa SPCA, we offer ID tags made in-house for $5, and microchipping for $10 per pet. Appointments for microchipping can be made here.
If your pet does go missing, the first thing is not to panic. There are several things you can do to increase the odds of being reunited with your fur baby.
- Post on your personal social media pages. The power of social media is more evident every day, so using it can be beneficial. In addition to posting on your personal pages, check for location-based missing pets groups such as Lost Dogs Tulsa, or Missing Pets Owasso.
- Notify your local shelters, giving pertinent details should they find your pet.
- Nextdoor is an excellent location-based app for finding missing pets. We highly recommend creating an account and posting there; users are constantly alert to news and updates and will help in any way they can.
- Don’t give up! While it is never guaranteed every pet will be found using these methods, persistence is key to success.
We hope this blog has proven to be useful and has given you resources and things to consider. Again, we invite you to invest in a pet ID tag and microchipping your pets in order to increase the odds of being reunited with your pets should this tragic situation occur. As the old adage goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
If you have any further questions, please feel free to call us at 918-428-7722.
[ii] 5 Things You Didn’t Know About External Pet ID https://www.foundanimals.org/5-things-you-didnt-know-about-external-pet-id/
[iii] IBID i