Of the approximately 10 million companion animals who wander away from home each year, 6 – 8 million wind up in the shelter system. Only 15 percent of the dogs and 2 percent of the cats in U.S. shelters without some form of ID are ever reunited with their human families– a sad statistic which Every Day is Tag Day is working to combat.
When is Every Day is Tag Day?
Every Day is Tag Day is recognized every year on the first Saturday in April. The pet holiday was created by the American Humane Association.
Why Dog Tags Are So Important Even When Your Dog is Chipped
Although ID tags have long been a tried and true method for returning missing pets, recent years have seen an upsurge in the popularity of microchipping.
Mandatory in many countries (although still voluntary in the United States since its introduction in 2003), the microchip consists of a small electronic capsule containing a pet parent’s contact information and other vital data about the lost dog or cat which is embedded beneath the animals’ skin.
Although the information can be easily retrieved by shelter staff, data which has not been updated to reflect a guardian’s current address or phone number can also mean heartache for both pets and their parents.
Tips for Protecting Your Dog if He Becomes Lost
On this pet holiday–and on every day–the American Humane Association invites all dog devotees and friends of felines to make every day tag day with the following suggestions:
1. Be sure your dog’s collar includes an ID tag.
Ensure that your dog (or cat) wears a collar which displays an ID tag, rabies tag and city/county license as well as your name, address and contact numbers for both daytime and evening hours.
2. Check to see that the ID info is current.
Make sure that your dog’s or cat’s license, ID tag and microchip information is current. If you’ve moved, update your address and phone number.
We’d also suggest that you make sure the tag is readable. We’ve found dogs whose tags were barely legible!
3. Make a temporary tag if you are traveling without your dog.
Place a temporary tag on your dog with the phone number of a person who knows how to reach you if you are on the road. This can be a pet sitter, a neighbor or the contact info for the boarding facility (yes, dogs get lost from boarding, too!)
4. Make sure indoor pets are tagged, too.
Give a tag to your four-legged friend, even if he or she lives indoors. Many dogs and cats in shelters across America are lost indoor pets. Be sure your dog wears a collar and tag while inside (he or she could suddenly bolt from the door without a tag if you take your dog’s collar off after a walk!)
“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,” states American Humane Association’s president and CEO, Dr. Robin Ganzert. “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.”