April 14–20: National Pet ID Week! Today is the kickoff for National Pet ID Week. The numbers vary depending upon the study, but in America, over ten million pets go missing or are stolen each year. Let that sink in.

10,000,000. It seems even worse when written out in number form.
Coconut is a runner. I believe he once had a home and a family. He came to us potty trained for the most part once we got in sync and he had good manners such as sitting, waiting, etc. I think he ran away because he will run given the slightest provocation. The thought of someone searching for him, or maybe worse, no one going crazy looking for this perfect dog, breaks my heart. I don’t know how long any of our dogs from NEW PAWSibilities were strays, how long they languished in our Kentucky partner shelter before taking that long ride to Wisconsin. You don’t know your dog’s story either except that the vast majority of dogs we bring in are strays.

We’ve all read the stories where a dog will be placed on the wrong flight and then cross the country through any kind of weather and terrain to find his family. We know it happens and not just in movies. But the majority of dogs don’t do that journey. They end up in a shelter.

A microchip and or ID tag will help your dog get back to you. Not all dogs who are strays have families who are desperate to find them. The ASPCA’s research on lost pets reveals that “a significant percentage of stray dogs and cats in shelters around the country may not have someone looking for them.” Another phrase that breaks my heart.

In a study published in the journal Animal of the 2,666 households surveyed, 39 percent owned a dog or cat in the past five years. Highlights of the study include:

• 85 percent of the lost animals were recovered
• Cat owners were less likely to find their animals (74 percent of cats were recovered) while dog owners had better luck (93 percent)
• Of the recovered dogs, almost half were found during a neighborhood search; 15 percent were found because of a tag or microchip
• Cat owners tend to wait three days before searching for their pet, while dog owners usually act much more quickly—within a day
• Of the recovered cats, 59 percent returned home on their own; 30 percent were found during neighborhood searches

“The number of lost pets and the number of those lost who get recovered indicates that there is a possibility that a significant percentage of the stray dogs and cats in the shelters around the country do not have someone looking for them.”

When you adopt a dog through NEW PAWSibilities a microchip is implanted in each and every dog before adoption. It’s a tiny chip that doesn’t hurt to be implanted and, once it’s in, stays in place and works for their entire lifetime. It never expires. The chip is scannable and it contains your dog’s unique number, kind of like your social security number, and that is the best way for your dog to be found if lost.

At one of our vet visits, I got to see the effectiveness of the chip. Our vet is in Oshkosh but an owner from Neenah rushed in that day to claim her dog. She had made it all the way to Oshkosh and a kind person found her and took her to our vet. The vet scanned the chip and the located, and within hours, the dog was back home. Happy ending for everyone!

As we kick off National Pet ID Week it’s good to know that most cities require a dog license. In Oshkosh it’s a nominal $5.00 but if your dog wears a tag and the license on his or her collar that’s an additional way to connect a lost dog with a frantic owner.

We have a wonderful selection of Lupine products including collars, leashes, and harnesses. We also can send you home with a personalized ID so that your new dog has a way of being found if anything should happen.

Thank you all for adopting and being responsible pet owners. We will do everything we can to keep our pets safe in every way including microchipping and encouraging adopters to walk out with everything they need to give their dogs a new and wonderful life.