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National Pet ID Week

Tips for returning lost pets safe and sound.

This week is National Pet Identification Week, and it’s a good time to make sure your furry ones are adequately identified and could be easily found if lost. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) conducted a study on the use of ID tags by pet owners and found that only 33 percent of pet parents admitted to always having ID tags on their dogs and cats. So the first place to start is to make sure your pets have an ID tag with your current contact information.

While an ID tag is a good start, it can easily get pulled off. The best defense is to have your pet microchipped or tattooed. If your pet ends up at a laboratory, researchers are required by law to check if the animal has an identifying tattoo. Veterinarians can either microchip or tattoo your pet. A few places that offer inexpensive microchipping locally include the Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority for $35, the Humane Society Silicon Valley for $45 and VIP Petcare Services for $39, every Sunday between 4-5:30 p.m. at in Campbell.

If you’d like to go a step further to ensure your lost pet is found, you could invest in a GPS pet tracking system. Options range from the Tagg-Pet Tracker for $200 a year to the SpotLite GPS Locator for $170. Both systems include a device that attaches to your dog or cat’s collar and alerts you with a text or email when your pet wanders out of its pre-determined geographic zone.

Help Out Rescue Dogs

Wash your dog at a Pet Food Express location on Saturday, May 5 and support the California Rescue Dog Association (CARDA). CARDA is an all-volunteer organization that provides trained search and rescue dog teams to help locate missing people. Last year Pet Food Express and CARDA raised $15,000 to help CARDA start a veterinary fund for injured search dogs. For more information and to find a participating Pet Food Express location, visit the CRDA website.

Pet of the Week

Meet Kisa, a beautiful Russian blue. She’s a quiet, confident kitty with a sweet disposition. She’s also very affectionate and loves sitting on your lap and snuggling. Kisa was taken in to human care at a very early age, so she’s very comfortable with humans. She's currently being housed at a foster home.

If you’d like to make Kisa an addition to your family, visit the Friends of the San Martin Animal Shelter website.

Mayra Flores de Marcotte April 17, 2012 at 03:06 AM
I really appreciated this article. Sometimes as pet parents, it's easy to get comfortable when it comes to "worst-case senarios." Our dog has gotten out several times over her life and each time, it was the microchip that we got for her that made sure we saw her again. Although we have tags as well, the first few times that she got out, she managed to catch the tags on something so they were the first thing to go, before she did. I have to admit, I've never thought to tattoo our dog ... ;)
mark April 17, 2012 at 12:01 PM
Another option is the Pet QR Tag found at www.petqrtag.com
Cathy Weselby April 17, 2012 at 08:15 PM
Mark, Thanks for the tip!
Cathy Weselby April 18, 2012 at 12:27 AM
A representative from Pet Tracker contacted me and said their pricing has changed. A Tagg system now costs $185 for the first year (for the set-up equipment) and $95 each year thereafter.
Tyler April 24, 2012 at 09:01 PM
I agree with you, Mayra! When we first adopted our dog, I didn't know about microchips until after we adopted her and our friend told us that we had to look into microchips. I'm glad we did, too - though she's never gotten lost, we have picked up a couple of strays over the years. They've all had microchips and been returned to their families (luckily), but if they hadn't, we'd have probably kept them. I'm reading a book right now called "Just Bill" by Barry Knister (http://www.barryknister.com) that's about a dog adopted as a stray, and it reminds me a lot of those strays we picked up over the years. My heart breaks knowing there are pups out there without a home, but I am glad that I didn't unknowingly adopt someone else's companion.

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