PetHealth: Every Day is Tag Day, Urging Pet Owners to IDTag their Furry Friends

PetHealth: Every Day is Tag Day, Urging Pet Owners to IDTag their Furry Friends


PetHealth: “Every Day is Tag Day ™ Encourage Pet Owners to IDTag their Furry Friends
April 4th 2015 marked the American Humane Association’s annual “Every Day is Tag Day™” — to help raise awareness about the importance of using identification (ID) tags and microchips to help find a lost pet.

Each year, approximately 10 million pets are lost, and approximately six to eight million animals wind up in the nation’s animal shelters. Only 15 percent of dogs and two percent of cats in shelters without ID tags are reunited with their owners, according to the American Humane Association.
“Losing a pet is a nightmare for any pet owner, but pets with ID tags and microchips are much more likely to find their way home to their family,” said Mark Stubis, Chief Communications Officer, American Humane Association. “We cannot stress enough the importance of keeping these lifesaving ID devices current. Please take a little time this Saturday to make sure your pets are equipped in the event they get separated from you. Let’s all work together to ‘Make Every Day Tag Day’ so more pets than ever can be reunited with their owners.”        
By following four tips suggested by the American Humane Association, pet owners can help enhance the quality of life for their pets.
1. Make sure your pet wears a collar with a current ID tag, rabies tag, and city/county license. Include a contact name, address, and daytime and evening phone numbers.
2. Keep your pet’s licenses, ID tag, and microchip current. Make sure to update the tag if you change your address or phone number.
3. When moving or traveling, place a temporary tag on your pet with the phone number of someone who knows how to reach you. Remember that even indoor pets need tags. Many strays in shelters are indoor pets that escaped and got lost.
4. Talk with your veterinarian about options for identification tags and microchips.



Want to learn more? For more details about the “Stats & FAQs” please see below.

Statistics:
*1 out of 3 pets will get lost in their lifetime
*Without ID, 90% of pets will never return home
*Your pet’s microchip is permanent ID that cannot fall off or be removed-but the microchip ID must be registered along with your contact information to identify your pet
*If your pet’s microchip is not registered, it is not protected.

Pet Microchip FAQs[1]
Here are some common questions and misconceptions about pet microchips.

Q: Will it hurt my pet when he gets the microchip implanted?
A: It won’t hurt any more than a routine vaccination – having a microchip implanted doesn’t even require anesthetic. The procedure is performed at your veterinarian’s office and is simple and similar to administering a vaccine or a routine shot.
The microchip comes preloaded in a sterile applicator and is injected under the loose skin between the shoulder blades. The process takes only a few seconds, and your pet will not react any more than he would to a vaccination.

Q: Will a microchip tell me my pet’s location[2]?
A: There are a lot of options out there. Talk with your veterinarian about options for identification tags and microchips. Some examples:
RFID. Some pet microchips are not tracking devices and do not work like global positioning devices (GPS). They are radio-frequency identification (RFID) implants that provide permanent ID for your pet. Because they use RFID technology, microchips do not require a power source like a GPS. When a microchip scanner is passed over the pet, the microchip gets enough power from the scanner to transmit the microchip’s ID number. Since there’s no battery and no moving parts, there’s nothing to keep charged, wear out, or replace. The microchip will last your pet’s lifetime.
GPS Map Technology. Henry Schein Animal Health has a microchip, called the “Save This Life” pet recovery system, a microchip searchable in Google with technology that allows pet owners to receive a GPS map of where their pet has been found. [for more information, see press release, below].

Q: There are several different brands available. Which is the best, and how can I be sure my shelter will be able to read that chip if she is lost?
A: Talk to your vet and your shelter to find out what is the common chip used in your area. Different companies offer different features. Find out what chips the scanners at your local shelter can read, so you can be sure they can read the chip you’re having implanted. Some chips can be more universally read than others. When pets are microchipped at their vet, the vet can often find the owners, even if they haven’t kept up their registration with the chip company. A lot of pets are reunited with their owners, not because the owners did a good job with registration, but because the chip is traced back to the vet that placed it, and then the vet finds the owners.


Q: Why does my pet need a microchip when he already wears a collar with tags?
A: All pets should wear collar tags imprinted with their name and the phone number of their pet parent, but only a microchip provides permanent ID that cannot fall off, be removed, or become impossible to read.
Pet owners also need to understand that a microchip is only one part of your pet’s identification system. Your pet also should have a collar with tags on it. With cats you want to use breakaway collars so they don’t get caught when they’re climbing.
You can’t just assume the person who finds your pet will know anything about microchips. They might just keep your pet or give away your pet. But if your phone number on the ID, they can easily reach you. It’s important that the phone number on the ID is connected to voicemail or answering machine.

Q: How much does it cost to microchip my pet?
A: Costs vary. The average cost to have a microchip implanted by a veterinarian is around $45-$50[3], which is a one–time fee and often includes registration in a pet recovery database. If you’re going to a vet just to get a microchip done, it’s probably going to cost around $50. But if you have it done while you’re having other things done, like your regular check up, then it will probably be a bit less because you’ve already paid for the office visit[4].
If your pet was adopted from a shelter, your pet may already have a microchip. Consult your pet adoption paperwork, or have your pet scanned for a microchip at your next vet visit to reveal the unique microchip ID number and register it.

Q: Isn’t microchipping only for dogs?
A: Both cats and dogs need to be microchipped.
Cats often do not wear collars, and may not have any other form of ID. A recent study showed that less than 2% of cats without microchips were returned home. However, if a cat is microchipped, the return-to-owner rate is 20 times higher than if the cat was not microchipped.

Q: Can anyone with a scanner access my contact information from the chip?
A: Microchips carry only a unique identification number.
If your pet gets lost and is taken to a vet clinic or animal shelter, your pet will be scanned for a microchip to reveal his unique ID number. That number will be called into the pet recovery service, and you will be contacted using the contact information on file with your pet’s microchip.
**It is vital to keep your contact information up to date so that you can be reached.

Q: How many times do I need to microchip my pet?
A: A microchip will normally last the lifetime of your pet because it is composed of biocompatible materials that will not degenerate over time.
Pet parents can also check to make sure their pet’s microchip is still working by asking a vet to scan it during their pet’s next checkup.

Q: My pet has a microchip. How will it help me get my pet back if he is lost?
A: A microchip is only the first step. You must register your pet’s microchip to give your pet the best protection; and it’s critical to keep your information updated if you move. The microchip helps if someone picks up your pet and takes him to a shelter or veterinarian’s office to be scanned for a chip. Some people think chips are like a tracker or a GPS device, but a microchip only works if someone scans the chip.
Once they get the chip’s number, and the company that made the chip, they’ll contact that company to find the owner. And that’s one of the most important things people need to remember – the chip is only as good as the registration. A lot of people think that once a microchip is implanted, they’re done. But if your registration isn’t submitted and then kept current, it’s useless. That’s been a big gap. Many more pets are microchipped than are properly registered. You have to get the paperwork and make sure that chip is registered to you, with your phone numbers. And if you move or you change your phone numbers, you have to update that information.

Q: I’ve heard animals have died when a chip was implanted incorrectly. Is the procedure dangerous?
A: There have been some cases of complications. It’s rare, but it can happen. That’s why, even though there’s no law that requires veterinarians implant the chips, we recommend it. Because it does matter where you put it and how you inject it.

Q: Have studies found an increased risk of cancer in pets with microchips?
A: There have been animals that have developed tumors at the site of the microchip. It’s incredibly rare, compared to the millions and millions of animals that have had microchips implanted in them. It’s an incredibly low risk, but it can happen.
People have to weigh that small risk against what can happen to their lost pet.

Q: Do all shelters scan for microchips when they find a pet?
A: All shelters should scan any pet that comes in for microchips and they should do so with a universal scanner. But I can’t guarantee that all shelters do that.

Q: Do all scanners used by shelters pick up all microchips?
A: Not all scanners pick up all microchips. There are more universal scanners now, but some work better than others. In an ideal world, all shelters would be using a universal scanner that works well to check every animal they find. But in reality, not all shelters have universal scanners that work well. Sometimes they’ll have more than one scanner so they can find different chips. Of course, that assumes they have the time and manpower to scan every animal more than once.
And scanners also depend on using the right technique to know how and where to scan. And chips can migrate, so if they’re scanning over the back and it’s migrated to the side, they may not find it.
A really good thing owners can do is that at every check-up ask your vet to scan the chip to make sure it’s still reading and it’s still where it should be, on the back near the shoulder blades.

Q: Does the U.S. use a different frequency chip than other countries? Does that mean if I take my pet to another country, their scanners won’t read his chip?
A: Yes, Europe uses a 134.2 kilohertz chip. In this country we’ve used 125 and 128 kilohertz chips, although some companies now are implanting the European frequency chips as well. And there are scanners now that can pick up all three. But it’s so important to be sure your shelters can read whatever chip you have implanted.
And if you take your pet abroad, you need to check each country’s requirements. Many have regulations about not just the type of chip, but when it’s implanted.

Press Release Follows
SOURCE: American Humane Society[5]

Take time on Saturday April 4th to make sure your dogs and cats have up to-date ID tags; it could save their lives
Washington, D.C., April 3, 2015– Pets feel comfortable and safe at home, and may never want to leave. Unfortunately, however, millions of pets still get separated from their owners each year, but one sometimes overlooked thing could be their ticket home: an up-to-date identification tag or microchip. And this Saturday April 4 is the perfect day to make sure your pet has a tag and/or other identification with American Humane Association’s “Every Day is Tag Day™.” This event, held annually on the first Saturday in April, unites thousands of animal care and control agencies, veterinarians, and humane organizations in the common goal of urging pet owners to equip their pets with one or more forms of identification to ensure their safe return.

Every year, approximately 10 million pets are lost, and some 6-8 million animals wind up in the nation’s animal shelters. Only 15 percent of dogs and 2 percent of cats in shelters without ID tags are reunited with their owners. To avoid the heartache of losing a pet, American Humane Association encourages all dog and cat owners to give their pets ID tags and/or microchips to lessen the chance of losing them permanently.

Most pets who have been adopted in recent years have been microchipped by the shelters. This tiny electronic capsule embedded under the animal’s skin contains a code which links the pet to its owner through a database. Microchipping provides an additional layer of assurance in the event that the pet’s collar and tag fall off or are removed, and many shelters check for microchips when receiving an animal. Like ID tags, microchips need to contain current contact information. They do little good if you have moved. There are many databases online where you can register the microchip to help increase the chances of reuniting with your lost pet.

1. Make sure your pet wears a collar with a current ID tag, rabies tag, and city/county license. Include a contact name, address, and daytime and evening phone numbers.
2. Keep your pet’s licenses, ID tag, and microchip current. Make sure to update the tag if you change your address or phone numbers.
3. When moving or traveling, place a temporary tag on your pet with the phone number of someone who knows how to reach you.
4. Remember that even indoor pets need tags. Many strays in shelters are indoor pets who escaped and got lost.
“Losing a pet is a nightmare for any pet owner, but pets with ID tags and microchips are much more likely to find their way home to their loving family,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, American Humane Association’s president and CEO. “We cannot stress enough the importance of keeping these lifesaving items current. So please take a little time this Saturday to make sure your pets are equipped in the event they get separated from you. Let’s all work together to ‘Make Every Day Tag Day’ so more pets than ever can be reunited with their owners.”
For more information about Every Day is Tag Day, and for tips on giving your pets ID tags and microchipping them, please visit www.americanhumane.org/tagday.

About American Humane Association
American Humane Association is the country’s first national humane organization and the only one dedicated to protecting both children and animals. Since 1877, American Humane Association has been at the forefront of virtually every major advance in protecting our most vulnerable from cruelty, abuse and neglect. Today we’re also leading the way in understanding the human-animal bond and its role in therapy, medicine and society. American Humane Association reaches millions of people every day through groundbreaking research, education, training and services that span a wide network of organizations, agencies and businesses. You can help make a difference, too. Visit American Humane Association at www.americanhumane.org today.




[1] SOURCE PetFinder see link https://www.petfinder.com/dogs/lost-and-found-dogs/microchip-faqs/
[2] Source: WebMD http://pets.webmd.com/features/microchipping-your-dog-or-cat

[3] Source: WebMD http://pets.webmd.com/features/microchipping-your-dog-or-cat

[4] Source: WebMD http://pets.webmd.com/features/microchipping-your-dog-or-cat
[5] See Link, http://www.americanhumane.org/about-us/newsroom/news-releases/aha-every-day-is-tag-day-encourages-pet-owners.html

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