"As anyone who has ever been around a cat for any length of time well knows, cats have enormous patience with the limitations of the human kind." (Cleveland Amory)
"This is Madisen (Leonberger), she was 7 months old when I took this picture. Whenever I see this picture, it just reminds me of how she was watching TV then turned to see me in the kitchen like as if to say: 'Hey, get me a drink, I'm thirsty'."
- Taysia G. of Edmonton, Alberta
"Here is a shot of one of our Siberian Huskies (we have 15)! This is SnowPack's Disco Inferno... better known as Disco... enjoying a July sunset from the lofty perch of our wood pile!"
- Dana from Tunkwa, BC
"Here is my Brittany Patrick, looking for the one who got away. The second photo is of Shugah the cat in her kayak... she loves the water. The last photo is Roxanne, my neighbour's Ruby King Charles."
- Carol E. of Portland, Oregon
Accidents can happen to even the best pet owner. If your pet should become lost, proper identification can help to bring him home. More than one type of ID is recommended as a safety measure, just in case one form of ID fails (for example, a collar with tags could fall off).
Many municipalities require you to purchase a license for dogs - some even require licenses for cats too! Even if your cat stays indoors only, she still needs ID - scared or excited pets can slip out the door before you can stop them.
Usually purchased from your municipality, your pet is assigned a number which is tracked in a computer database. Tags are attached to your pet's collar. If your pet is found, the animal control officer can check the tag number, pull up your address, and call you to let you know they have your pet.
Advantages: simple to use and highly visible.
Disadvantages: the tag may fall off; the tag may become unreadable; or your pet may lose its collar.
Notes: you can also purchase ID tags at pet stores. You tell the tag machine what you'd like the tag to say (such as a telephone number), and it engraves it onto the tag.
Tattoos are commonly etched into one of your pet's ears during spay/neuter surgery (pets must be under anesthetic for this procedure).
Advantages: visible form of ID and somewhat permanent. Does not rely on a collar.
Disadvantages: tattoos usually fade over time, making them difficult to read. Tattoos are often also hard to find or read if an animal is scared or aggressive, or if it has a thick fur coat.
A microchip is a small, electronic chip (approximately the size of a grain of rice) that is implanted just under your pet's skin. Microchips have an identification number associated with them. You register your pet & the microchip number with a national registration service which will link your pet to your contact information. If your pet gets lost, vet clinics, animal shelters or city pounds equipped with scanners can scan your pet's body to locate the ID number of the microchip along with the corresponding owner information.
Advantages: simple and permanent form of ID. The injection is quick and painless, similar to a vaccine. Most shelters and vet clinics are equipped with scanners so that they can quickly locate the pet's owner.
Disadvantages: a microchip isn't visible (although you may be given a tag to attach to your pet's collar, indicating that your pet has a microchip). Sometimes chips move out of place and are hard to find with a scanner. Not all scanners can read all types of microchips, although multi-system scanners are becoming more prevalent.
Many people use a combination of microchip and tag so that their pets have both visual and permanent forms of ID. Whatever you choose, ensure you keep your contact information up-to-date.