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 window.

There are two major companies that produce and register microchips: HomeAgain and AVID. For more information on microchipping, visit and

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 these registries.

For more information on tattooing your pet and to view video of the actual procedure, visit

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 seizure