Protect Your Pet
Follow these simple rules to keep your pet safe.
DONíT leave companion
animals unattended in your yard. It only takes a minute for someone
to steal your pet.
DONíT allow your pet to be visible from the street.
DONíT leave your dog tied up outside restaurants or stores.
DONíT leave any animal unattended in your car, even if it is
ďjust for a minute.Ē
DONíT use ďfree to good homeĒ ads to place companion animals.
These ads are often answered by Class ďBĒ dealers. Contact a rescue
group for assistance in conducting your own adoption.
DO spay and neuter your
companion animals. This reduces your animalís desire to stray and reduces
the risk of your companion animal being stolen for breeding purposes.
DO provide your companion animals with collars, ID tags, and
licenses. Speak with your veterinarian about backup forms of
identifications, including tattooing and microchipping.
DO keep recent photos and written descriptions of your companion
animals on hand at all times.
DO keep dogs and cats indoors, especially when youíre not home.
DO know where your animals are at all times. Treat your companion
animals as you would a small child.
DO educate family, friends, and neighbors about pet theft
Properly Identifying Your Pet
A good dog collar with an ID tag is the first line of defense against
pet theft; however, a collar can break or be pulled off. In addition to a
collar, dogs should have permanent identification. Microchipping and/or
tattooing your pet are excellent ways to ensure their safety.
Additionally, if your pet ends up at a research or medical facility, the
researchers are required by law to look for any tattoos, and, if one is
found, they must trace the pet back to the owner.
A microchip is a permanent radio-frequency identification (RFID) chip
implanted under the animalís skin and read by a chip scanner or wand.
Implantation is done with an injector that places the chip under the loose
skin over the animalís shoulder.
The advantages are obvious -- the process is quick and no more painful
than a vaccination, the number is unique and the owners name and address
are available on regional or national data bases so a dog can be returned
quickly and safely.
The chip identification number is stored in a tiny transponder that can be
read through the animal's skin by a scanner emitting low-frequency radio
waves. The frequency is picked up by a tiny antenna in the transponder,
and the number is retrieved, decoded and displayed in the scanner readout
There are two major companies that produce and register microchips:
HomeAgain and AVID. For more information on microchipping, visit
Tattooing your cat and dog is another great and permanent way to protect
them if they ever get lost. Tattooing dogs and cats has been done
routinely since the sixties and is a relatively painless procedure.
Vibrator tattoos used with dogs are similar to those used to tattoo
humans. Tattoo inks or pastes contain insoluble pigments that will not
react with blood or tissues. Black ink is commonly used on light-skinned
animals. Green ink is visible on both light and dark skin.
The ear of the animal is not a satisfactory place for a tattoo as the ear
can be cut off to remove the tattoo. A better place to tattoo the animal
is on the flank.
A tattoo must be registered with a tattoo registry. Each registry has its
own coding system and its own fee schedule. Your veterinarian, local breed
clubs, humane societies and animal shelters can give you information about
For more information on tattooing your pet and to view video of the actual
Spaying and Neutering Your Pet
Spaying or neutering your animal might actually help keep her out of a
research lab. Animals that arenít spayed or neutered often stray from home
when looking to mate. Many strays end up in pounds or shelters, which,
depending on the state laws, might in turn sell the animal to a research
lab through a practice called ďpound