Thousands of dogs and cats are reported missing every day. Some of these animals will be euthanized, others will find new homes, but very few will be reunited with their original owners. Perhaps the most disturbing thing is the relatively easy steps people can take to ensure their beloved pets are reunited with them in the unfortunate circumstance they were to be separated.
All of your pets should have collars with name tags that identify you and your pet's name, your phone number, and any medical conditions your pet may have. Even pets that never leave the house should have collars in case they were to escape.
Probably the most effective way to ensure you will always be reunited with your pet is to have your pet "microchipped." A microchip is an electronic device about the size of a grain of rice that is easily injected under the skin. This chip will have a code unique to your pet and will be registered to you and your family. Pets are always scanned for a microchip if they are found by an Animal Control officer or brought to a Veterinary Hospital. If a chip is found, the owners are identified and reunited with their pets quickly and easily. In England, where microchipping is mandatory, 50% of all lost pets are reunited with their owners. In the United States, where less than 4% of pets have microchips, 4% of lost cats and 14% of lost dogs are reunited with their owners.
We recommend microchipping all pets in your household. Make sure the microchip your veterinarian is using is International Organization for Standardization (ISO) compliant so that it can be read by all scanners and frequencies and make sure you register your microchip. Remember, it is far easier to prevent problems than to fix them.