Posts Tagged ‘Pet Identification’

National Pet ID Week

Sunday, April 19th, 2015
Coco and Henry bonding

Coco and Henry Begin to Bond With Each Other

April 19 – 25 is designated National Pet ID Week, the time to verify that you have taken appropriate precautions to ensure that your pet will be reunited with you, if you are ever separated from one another. Unfortunately, too many pets become lost and homeless in the aftermath of a major disaster. If you have not yet seen it, check out “Mine”, an Independent Lens documentary about the fate of pets in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

On 9-11, many of my neighbors in Battery Park City left for work in the morning expecting to return home to their pets in the afternoon. They never imagined that the community would be closed and evacuated and that we would not be allowed to return to our homes for some months (I did not have pets at that time). My friend and neighbor Ariel joined the ASPCA in returning to rescue pets left behind in Battery Park City apartments.

The need to ID pets is critical. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals reports that only 33 per cent pet owners have identification on their dogs and cats at all times. (The ASPCA website has some great tips for protecting your pet against the risk of a disaster.) Microchipping your pet ensures a safe, permanent means of identifying your pet should you become separated from one another. Collars can be removed and tags can be hard to read, but microchipping (a safe and painless process just like a vaccination) is permanent.

Be sure to register with the appropriate agency so your microchip ID can be traced back to you. At the time your pet is micro-chipped, you will be given information with a link to a website where you can enter your name, mobile telephone number and other information on the record of your pet’s unique micro-chip number. Be sure to update this information should you move or change your telephone number. And, as an extra precaution, on your next wellness visit to the vet, ask him or her to scan the microchip to make sure it is reading properly. Give the microchip identification number to your vet for record keeping should your pet need emergency care before he or she can be returned to you. I had both Coco and Henry microchipped. I paid $20 for each one. The entire process, including filling out the paperwork, took five minutes.

This is one of my favorite photographs of Coco and Henry. I had just adopted Henry from a local rescue shelter. Initially, Henry seemed very fearful and withdrawn. Coco would get in her little bed next to my desk and take her afternoon nap while I was working. Henry would take his afternoon nap under the bed in the master bedroom, away from us. Coco seemed baffled by Henry’s behavior until, over time, Henry began to feel more comfortable and safe in his new home with us. He began to participate with enthusiasm in our daily routines.

I took this photograph the first time Henry, without warning, climbed into the bed with Coco so that they could take their afternoon nap together, at the foot of my desk. Coco looked up at me, as if she wanted me to explain Henry’s unusual behavior. The startled look on her face is priceless. From then on, they took their naps together in the doggy bed. The last time I took them to the salon, the groomer reported to me that Henry started to cry when she took Coco in for her bath. Henry didn’t want to be separated from his sister. You would think Henry has been with us forever. And the micro-chip is another assurance that he will be.