Dr. Gary Weitzman
Special to the Village News
A little peace of mind goes a long way, and that's why San Diego Humane Society wants to remind pet owners that May is Microchip Your Pet Month. It's the perfect time to take stock of all the ways they can protect their pet and increase their chances of reuniting with them if they ever become lost.
Losing a pet is a stressful, scary and sometimes a costly experience. One in three pets will become lost during their lifetime. Those odds are far too high to put off implementing these protective measures.
Even for pets who remain primarily indoors or in fenced yards, it all starts with the basics: a well-fitting collar with an ID tag. Make sure your contact information is always up-to-date, and even if you don't have tags, writing your phone number in permanent marker directly on a collar can be the difference between a pet going straight back home or entering a shelter.
Microchipping is another important step people can take to make their pets easily identifiable if they're found by someone else. A tiny chip – the size of a grain of rice – containing a unique identification number is placed under the skin of the pet in a quick and painless procedure. Animal shelters and veterinarians can quickly and easily scan for the presence of a microchip. The contact information will show up, making it easy to identify the lost pet and reunite them with their family.
A third piece of protection for a dog is their license, which is not only required by law, but gives them additional protection. Microchips and licenses serve as supplemental methods of identification to collars and tags, which – while still critical – can fall off or become lost. They can also help protect a dog from theft, giving their owner recourse to reclaim them if they are found in someone else's possession.
San Diego Humane Society provides dog licensing services for pet owners in their jurisdiction, as well as affordable microchipping clinics for dogs, cats and other pets. These investments can save pet owners both time and money spent on searching for a lost pet or paying reclamation fees – and provide valuable peace of mind.
If you do lose a pet, text LOST to 858-726-5678 to access San Diego Humane Society's Lost2Found automated texting service, which provides valuable tips to help in your search. But most importantly, make sure you have taken all the proper steps to protect your pet and ensure they can be identified if they are found as a stray. For more helpful resources, visit http://sdhumane.org/protect.
Dr. Gary Weitzman is president and CEO of the San Diego Humane Society.