Paws for Thought: ID tags for your pet are vital

By From page A4 | April 16, 2013

Ginger Seslar gives Sofie a big hug. Originally, Seslar had planned to adopt Sofie but she soon realized the dog belonged with her stepmom and dad. Courtesy photo

Ginger Seslar gives Sofie a big hug. Originally, Seslar had planned to adopt Sofie but she soon realized the dog belonged with her stepmom and dad. Courtesy photo

Does your pet wear a collar with an identification tag? Does your pet wear it all the time? Is it easy to read?

If you said no to any of these questions, you are not alone, but you may be when your lost pet is not returned. Although 80 percent of pet owners believe it’s important for dogs and cats to wear personal identification tags, only one in three say their pets always wear ID tags.

Even microchipped pets need collars with ID tags. Why? Think about this. You’re walking down the street and a lost dog comes up to you. It has an ID tag with the owner’s name, phone number and address. Taking out your cell phone, you contact the owner and the dog is back home.

Without the ID tag, your options are 1) take the dog to a vet so it can be scanned for a possible microchip, 2) phone Animal Control or 3) let it go and hope it finds its way home.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals began the ID ME research project in 2010. Results from this project indicate people know ID tags are important but need easy access to a personalized tag and a collar. Once ID tags are in place, the ASPCA found that they usually remain on the animal.

Based on this research, the ASPCA recommends that shelters place personalized tags on each adopted or reclaimed animal. Doing so helps lost pets get home quickly without involving animal control and shelter services. It’s a win for pets, their owners and the community.

So, remember, dogs and cats can’t tell people where they live. With an easy-to-read ID tag, you and your lost dog or cat are likely to be reunited quickly. If your pet could talk, it would say, “Thank you!”

Happy Tails: When Ginger Seslar saw Sofie’s photo online, it was love at first sight, but Ginger lived near Seattle and Sofie, a large black Labrador mix, was at the Front Street Shelter in Sacramento.

Ginger’s dad and stepmom, who live near Sacramento, agreed to foster Sofie until Ginger could get her. Ginger writes, “Over the two weeks leading up to my trip, my dad would send me pictures and updates every other day or so. They started out as pictures of Sofie on her new dog bed, and playing with the toys my mom had bought for her, then started to come the pictures of Sofie with my stepmom … snuggling on the couch and napping together under the blankets.

“When I went down to California to get Sofie …, I knew … Sofie was supposed to stay with my mom. So on the second day of my visit, while Sofie and my mom were snuggled on the couch together, I threw out the idea, ever so coolly, and my mom turned into a little kid with big begging eyes so extremely excited about the idea of keeping Sofie as her own.

“My dad … was completely defenseless against the pleading faces of the two women he loves most. I had thought that when I saw Sofie’s picture and fell instantly in love, that it was because I was supposed to have her, but as it turns out, I was only the middleman, arranging for a very special bond between a needy dog and a woman with an immense amount of love to give.”

Ways to help animals in need: Stop by the Yolo County SPCA’s newly expanded thrift store on Third Street in downtown Davis or shop online through and provide funds to help the SPCA.

— Evelyn Dale of Davis is a volunteer and advocate for shelter animal welfare; her column is published monthly. Reach her at [email protected]

Evelyn Dale

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