I am sure everyone remembers the line from ET when ET asks to phone home. Unfortunately, like ET, our lost pets can’t phone home. However, with your help, someone can.
Reuniting a lost pet should only be a phone call away but sadly, thousands of lost pets cannot return home because their owners cannot be contacted.
Last month, this cute little guy in the photo showed up in our parking lot. No one visiting our hospital had a missing pet, so we took him in and checked for any identification. Unfortunately, he did not have any tags or a microchip.
Next, we took a picture of him and posted it to our Facebook page with a message letting the public know that he was found. We also contacted our local SPCA to let them know we had him. Luckily for Gus, someone recognized his pictue on our Facebook page and called his owner. We had a happy reunion later that day.
Several months prior to this, a stray dog showed up on a client’s porch. The SPCA was closed, so the homeowner brought the dog to us. This dog had a collar and tag that identified him as Charlie. We scanned Charlie for a microchip and eureka! He had one! Reuniting Charlie with his owner should have been easy. Unfortunately, the owner had never registered Charlie’s microchip.
After conducting numerous online searches, we traced the chip to an animal shelter in Pennsylvania. We contacted the shelter and were given the name of Charlie’s adoptive owner. Through perseverance and modern day technology, we were able to locate Charlie’s owners here in Norwich and get him home.
Last year, we encountered a dilemma when we scanned a stray cat that someone had decided to keep. Yes, you guessed it! We found a microchip when he came in for his first appointment. We talked to the adoptive family and let them know that he was previously chipped and may be lost.
With the family’s approval, we proceeded to try to find his owner. We traced the microchip to a shelter in Florida and, although we were able to identify the cat's original owners, we were never able to locate them. Luckily, that cat has since found a new loving home.
So what have we learned from these stories?
• ID your pets
- In addition to having your pet wear an ID tag, you should consider having them microchipped
• Register your microchip
- Update your contact information if you move or change cell phone numbers
• Reach out if you find a lost pet
- Please reach out to local veterinarians and shelters; the animal you found might not be stray, it could just be lost
• Stay connected
- Social media is a powerful tool, so if your pet goes missing, be sure to check Facebook and local lost and found pet sites
Losing your pet is heartbreaking and stressful. By taking these simple steps, you can increase the likelihood of a happy ending.