ARTICLES & ADVICE
FAMILY HISTORY & GENEALOGY
Protect Against Pet Napping
Picture a friendly dog belonging to a family
living in a friendly
being let out several times a day into the fenced yard for play and
Now envision a van or covered pick up truck cruising the streets with
one paying too much attention to it nor the recent flurry of posters
for help finding missing pets that have been tacked up on telephone
and in local stores.
It's a lovely day and pooch is out in the fenced yard. The truck creeps
a halt in front of the house. A man gets out and walks purposely to the
The latch pops up easily since there isn't a lock. The playful pooch
up to say hello and then willingly follows the stranger who offers him
tasty beef tidbit. In a matter of seconds, pooch has vanished.
This scenario is a grim reality. Don't be fooled by thinking that pet
occurs on rare occasions or that pets are stolen by people who want to
them. Each year, some 5 million pets disappear and of those nearly 70%
The Cold Hard Facts:
Some Very Basic Tips to Protect Your Pet
- Pet stealing occurs in every part of the
country from rural
to large cities, in the best and worst neighborhoods.
- All pets are at risk. Many end up as
bait for training fighting
- Laws on pet abduction are for the most
part weak. The offenses
usually treated as misdemeanors. With no strong legal deterrent, there
little or no reason for pet thieves to change their ways.
- Always keep an eye on your pet. Your
companion can be stolen
out of your own yard. Install locks on all gates to your yard or dog
- Never tie your dog outside a store while
you run inside. Keep an
on your vehicle too, dogs can and are stolen out of parked vehicles.
- Always identify your companions. Collar
tags, microchips, tattoos
all good ways to identify your companions. The more methods you have to
your companion the better protection you have provided for them.
Identification is a must for any pet. Even your pet that is "always
inside" could slip out when the cable repairman comes to fix your
television. If your pet has identification you can avoid a lot of
heartbreak if your companion should accidentally escape. The more ways
you can identify your pet, the better. When you first take a pet into
your home, at the very least have some
form of visible identification on them so if they do escape there is a
that whomever finds your companion will know where to return them.
Identification tags provide your pet with the best opportunity to be
returned to you. Tags should be attached to your pet's collar and
should have your name and telephone number with your area code. The
jury is out on whether or not to put your dog's name on the tag. If
someone wants to keep your pet, knowing the name makes it much simpler.
Your pet will also get a tag from the veterinarian with a rabies
vaccination number on it. This tag won't contain your personal
information, but is traceable to the veterinarians office
and they can reach you if your pet is found. Another option for
identification is a local pet license. These tags are numbered and can
be traced back to you through the local municipality. Any or all these
tags can be attached to your pet's collar to help get them back to you.
If jingling tags drive you crazy, there is a neoprene product that
wraps around the tags to keep them quiet.
This newer method of identification has become very popular, and many
veterinarians and shelters recommend microchips as a secondary form of
identification. The microchip is about the size of a grain of rice and
is implanted under your pet's skin. Microchipping is a safe, relatively
painless and affordable procedure that provides permanent
identification for your pet. Most shelters and veterinarians have
scanners that will "read " the microchip, which can then be traced back
to the manufacturer or a national registry which matches the number
with a specific pet and owner.
Before microchips, tattooing was the standard for permanent
identification. Most dogs are tattooed on the inside thigh of their
hind leg. It is not a painful procedure, and only takes a few minutes
to attain a permanent identification for you pet. Cats can also be
tattooed, but many resist the process of being held for the tattoo.
Most tattoos are registered with the National Dog Registry.
Lost and Found and Stolen
Until it happened to my own
dogs, I always thought the
number of stolen dogs and cats was inflated to instill fear into pet
Hard as it was to believe, thousands of pets are stolen every year. I
included some very basic tips to avoid pet loss by theft and basic tips
finding a lost pet if the unthinkable happens to your companions.
- Don't leave your pet alone outside. If
you feel like your pet must be outside, be sure they can not been seen
from the street.
- Do bring your pet inside if you are
leaving home. This applies to cats too who are safer, healthier and
more apt to live longer if they live inside.
- Do make certain your pet has proper
identification tags. Use a buckle collar and attach the tags using a
round key chain type attachment. ("S"
hooks can hook other pets and injure them.)
- Do keep updated photographs and
descriptions of your pet in a safe location.
- Do keep your pet inside if your are
expecting a repair service or other person not familiar to your pet.
- Do padlock any and all gates into your
pet's domain. If you must
keep your dog outside, be sure to have a well-fenced area, water and
available. Outdoor dogs should never spend their lives chained or
(If you want a lawn ornament, buy one.)
- Do spay or neuter your pet, it reduces
the urge to roam and reduces the pet overpopulation problem.
- Don't leave your pet unattended or
tied outside a store while you are inside.
If you remember all these
and you still lose your pet, get moving on finding your companion
immediately. Start searching your neighborhood both by foot and by
vehicle. Call your pet's name loudly and frequently. Call
all the local animal shelters, impounds, veterinarians and the local
department. Post flyers around your neighborhood that feature a photo
your pet. Go door-to-door asking your neighbors (and their children) if
have seen your pet. Rely on the "eyes and ears" of your neighborhood --
carriers, delivery people, newspaper carriers and other folks that
through the area. Physically go and check all the shelters and
have a short holding period so be sure to check frequently. Most
importantly, don't give up.
If you find a lost pet, call your local shelter or animal control group
you wish to contact us
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