Starting on April 3, the American Humane Association (AHA) kicks off its “Every Day Is Tag Day” annual event to encourage pet owners to tag and microchip their cats and dogs so that a lost pet has a better chance of being recovered, the AHA said.
The organization dedicated to protecting children and animals cites the 9 million lost pets that arrive at U.S. shelters each year as the reason behind this awareness campaign. About 15 percent of dogs and 2 percent of cats without ID tag or microchip are recovered, the AHA said.
Most lost pets without identification are not reunited with their families, said Dena Fitzgerald, American Humane’s spokeswoman. “At the very least, every cat and dog needs a collar and ID tag, but the best solution is to also microchip your pet for permanent identification,” she said.
The AHA offers the following ways to give lost animals a better chance of returning home:
- Remember that indoor pets also need tags and microchips. Many strays in shelters are indoor pets that got lost.
- Make sure pets wear a collar with a current ID tag, rabies tag and city license. Include a contact name, address and day and evening phone numbers. Consider providing a phone number for an alternate contact, like a neighbor or family member.
- Keep information on the pet’s license, tags and microchips updated.
- When moving or traveling, place a temporary tag on pets, with the phone number of someone who knows how to reach you.