• Pet Gazette

Tags, microchips get lost pets found


The numbers leave no doubt. The American Humane Association estimates that 1 out of 3 pets become lost at some time in their lives. And almost 10 million dogs and cats are lost or stolen in the US every year.


Data shows that pets that have identification tags on their collars and/or microchips implanted in their skin are returned to their owners far more often than those without identification. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, lost dogs that have been microchipped get returned to their owners 52.2% of the time. Lost dogs without microchips get returned only 21.9% of the time. Microchips more than double the chances of a lost dog being returned!


The safe return statistics for microchipped versus non-microchipped lost cats are even more astounding. Lost cats with microchips are returned 38.5% of the time, versus just 1.8% safe returns for lost cats without microchips. Microchips increase the chances for a lost cat’s return more than 21times.

Whistle, a company that makes a GPS and activity-tracking dog collar, examined data from its roughly 150,000 customers. It showed that Bloodhounds, for example, got lost and separated from their owners about 1.3 times a month. That data doesn’t show why the Bloodhounds get lost, although it’s easy to envision them getting focused on following a scent and losing track of where they are. But regardless of why they get lost, it’s easy to see that without tags and/or microchips, they could get lost to their owners forever.


In order to help reunite pets with their owners, American Humane created “Every Day Is Tag Day”. A nationwide effort is held every year on the first Saturday in April. Veterinarians, rescue groups, humane organizations and thousands of animal care and control agencies join together to urge pet owners to equip their pets with tags and/or microchips. That simple step will maximize the chance of a lost or stolen pet being safely returned.


American Humane recommends the following steps to make everyday tag day:

· Have your pet always wear a collar with a current ID tag, rabies tag and/or a city/county license.

  • Include your current contact information on their ID tag.

  • Keep all pet license, ID tag and microchip information up-to-date

  • When moving or traveling, put a temporary ID tag on your pet with the phone # of someone who knows how to reach you.

  • Keep tags on even indoor pets. They can get out!

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