Each year, on February 14th, Last Chance for Animals (LCA)
, a non-profit animal advocacy organization,
helps educate the public about the theft of family pets with informational public service announcements and tips. According to LCA, “Nearly two million companion animals are stolen each year. Many of these animals are sold to research laboratories, dog-fighting rings, or puppy mills, where they are abused and often killed.”
So, this month, let’s use the time to go over some of the important ways to help protect your beloved pet:
We all have heard those wonderful stories where lost pets are found and reunited with loved ones,
thanks to a microchip! Have you moved or changed phone numbers recently?
Be sure to update the information with your microchip
company and veterinarian’s office.
It is true ID tags can be removed, but there are plenty of times dogs are found and tags can help locate the missing dog’s family right away. Be sure an up-to-date phone number, address, and pet name are on the tag. If the dog has any medical conditions, have that imprinted on the ID tag as well (i.e. Epileptic, Diabetic, etc.).
By spaying or neutering your dog, you not only reduce the chance of unexpected puppies and possibly adding to the already overpopulated shelters, but it also can help keep your dog from wandering, and possibly getting lost or stolen. And, according to Animal Welfare Issues, thieves also tend to pass on spayed or neutered pets, as they cannot be bred.
Never Leave Dog Unattended
Please be sure to always accompany your dog, and do not leave him/her unattended at a park or store, and never tied up to a post outside of a store, not even for a minute! It only takes a few seconds for a thief to grab your beloved dog.
Loving the Leash
When out walking, a leash is a dog’s best friend!
Free-roaming dogs can get caught up in a scent, or suddenly chase a cat or squirrel, only to find themselves lost, or worse—stolen. Be sure to always check all harnesses, collars, and leash clips before heading out to be sure they are sturdy and working properly.
Ensuring Your Dog’s Privacy
Take inventory of the type of yard you have. Is the fence “dog-proofed?” Is your yard visible from the road? Is there a locking gate latch? Do you have a videocam? Get in your car or walk around to see what a stranger may see as they pass by your property. Secure any visible or open areas.
Rehoming/Fostering Only Through Reputable Rescues
While a pet should be a forever member of a family, there are times when extenuating circumstances lead to an animal needing to be rehomed or placed in foster care. To help, reach out and get in touch with the nearest rescue organization.
Should your pet become lost or stolen:
File a report with your state and local police, dog warden, shelters, veterinarian offices, and microchip company.
Create an online notice with info on a photo of your pet to be shared via social media.
Register your dog and photo with Lost and Found pages (general and breed-specific).
Create a poster with clear photos of your dog depicting any special markings and traits, and include contact information as well as the town and state from where the dog went missing. Share with news media, police, vets, shelters, and on social media.
For More Info:
Check out Helping Lost Pets
where they offer FREE services
to create a poster, add a missing pet to a registry, give tips on what to do and how to word your notice, and to set alerts. For dogs only, visit Lost Dogs of America
. For more info on both of these resources, please tune in to my “Help! My Dog is Lost” 2-part episode on FiveSibes The Sibe Vibe on Dog Works Radio. Part I and Part II.
Also, visit the FiveSibes website for a listing of important Lost & Found resources.