Adopting a new cat or dog is an exciting day for any family or individual. Along with the excitement comes the responsibility of caring for your new companion for the duration of his or her life. In addition to providing all of the basic supplies that your companion animal needs to live, you can also help keep your pet safe by having it wear an identification tag at all times. While The Anti-Cruelty Society loves our alumni, we don’t want to see them again. Well, unless it’s on a holiday card or in a training class, but certainly not walking through the front door as a lost pet!
Here are some important things to remember about pet identification tags:
- Identification tags vastly increase the number of animals that are successfully returned to their owners.
- Since the information on an ID tag is immediately readable, it prevents the animal and the finder from ever having to go to a shelter or veterinarian’s office, since there is no need to scan for a chip. Therefore, the animal is returned home more quickly. As a shelter staff member has said, “I know many of you have heard of those great stories where a pet is reunited with their pet parent after months and months because of a microchip. Well, I much prefer the stories where the pet was reunited within minutes or hours because a neighbor or Good Samaritan found the pet in the neighborhood.”
- Some members of the general public may not even know that microchips exist, so if the animal they find does not have tags on, they may take that animal to the shelter, release the animal back where it was found, or even keep it as a pet. Identification tags can get an animal safely home much FASTER.
- Many adopters do not follow through with microchip registration; simply having a microchip is not sufficient identification – you must keep the information current. There may be a fee involved with this critical step.
- Caring for lost pets in a shelter is expensive. If the finder can get the animal home without involving a shelter, the shelter can use more of its resources on homeless animals. And if the finder can get the pet home faster, the owner is spared the agony of looking for his or her lost pet.
- People who see that an animal has tags know there is likely an owner. This greatly increases a person’s comfort with and desire to approach the animal, since he or she will know it is probably a lost pet, as opposed to a stray or feral animal.
Cats and Identification Tags
Many people think that cats will not tolerate a collar. A study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association found that most cats will tolerate wearing collars. Only 3.3% of cats in the study had their collars get stuck on something. Ultimately, the researchers concluded that the benefits of collars greatly outweighed any potentially negative consequences.
People also mistakenly believe that an indoor-only cat does not need a collar and tag. But as we all know, accidents do happen, such as a workman forgetting to close the front door or a cat running out the door during a delivery. If a cat is wearing a collar and identification, you have a much better chance of getting your pet back.
Don’t Skip the Chip
Identification tags are important, but collars and tags may come off, so implanting a microchip is critical for permanent, tamper-proof, back-up identification. It is crucial that both tags and microchip data are current!
All pets adopted from The Anti-Cruelty Society go home with a collar, identification tags, and a microchip.