lost dog, oph, owner responsibility

What If You Lose Your Dog?

The great thing about fostering is that when your life is stuffed full and you have no extra time/energy/emotion for a dog, you can take a break.

That’s what we are doing. So this week, with no dog to tell you about, I thought I’d tell you about a cool FREE service I just learned about on a podcast.

This is SO IMPORTANT. It could save your pet’s life. Literally.

Most of your dogs are microchipped. If you adopted from OPH, I know they are, but if you’ve adopted anywhere else, it’s basically standard protocol to chip every adopted dog.

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So great, your dog has a microchip, but….do you know where that microchip is registered?

I think I’m fairly sure what kind of chip Fanny has, but I have no idea what company sold us Gracie’s chip. I get emails regularly from confused puppy adopters wondering how they register their chip and if they need to and what it costs. And, to be honest, I’m not really sure, so I generally send them back to their adoption coordinator for that information.

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Yes, I should know this stuff. But like so many things, until the information matters, it doesn’t cross my mind.

The problem with microchips is that without information attached to a chip, it is useless. It doesn’t matter if your dog is chipped if the number was never registered or if your information is out of date.

One of favorite podcasts is Animal Professionals. The title is not only kind of boring, but it’s also misleading. In fact, I only recently discovered it because I thought it was for animal professionals, not about animal professionals. (From my perspective I’m an eternal amateur when it comes to animals.) The host, Chris, interviews all kinds of people who are involved in helping animals. From sustainable, smart pet product inventers to animal control officers to the organizer of Barking Beauty Pageants (a GREAT fundraising tool), it’s a short, interesting show if you’re a dog-person, especially a rescue-dog person.

Anyway, the guest on the episode I recently listened to was from the Michaelson Foundations Found Animals. It’s a nonprofit that maintains a FREE microchip registry. They believe that the goal is to reunite animals with their owners, not charge them a yearly fee to store their information.

So all you need is your pet’s microchip number to get your dog on their registry. No cost involved and it doesn’t matter what microchip company your chip is from. I LOVE this.

found animals

In fact, I immediately registered Fanny Wiggles. And then I started looking for Gracie’s chip information and couldn’t find it. AGH. So, now I need to have her scanned to get her number so I can register it also.

Registering was super quick and easy. All you need is the microchip number. It will ask for your address, email, and cell phone, and offer you the opportunity to put a second contact (in case you move and forget to tell them) and your vet’s information. You can also add a picture (I did) and information about your pet – age, breed, special info (I told them that Fanny is incredibly shy and afraid of people, but loves other dogs).

fanny wiggles found pet

That was it. No credit card, no questions about who inserted the chip and what company manufactured it. Simple. Because the point is—if your dog becomes lost, you want to get it back as fast as possible. Found Animal’s goal is to get the dog back home before it enters the shelter.

So, today’s blog has some homework attached—register your pets today. Super easy. Super important.

Thanks for reading!

profile for release dayCara

If you’d like regular updates of all my foster dogs past and present, plus occasional dog care/training tips from OPH training, be sure to join the Facebook group, Another Good Dog.

For information on me, my writing, and books, visit CaraWrites.com where you can also find more information on my new book, One Hundred Dogs and Counting: One  Woman, Ten Thousand Miles, and a Journey into the Heart of Shelters and Rescues, (Pegasus Books, July 2020) or on the book’s very own Facebook page and Instagram account.

And if you’d like to know where all these dogs come from and how you can help solve the crisis of too many unwanted dogs in our shelters, visit WhoWillLetTheDogsOut.org.

Our family fosters through the all-breed rescue, Operation Paws for Homes, a network of foster homes in Virginia, Maryland, D.C., and south-central PA.

Another Good Dog coverIf you can’t get enough foster dog stories, check out my book: Another Good Dog: One Family and Fifty Foster Dogs . It’s available anywhere books are sold.

I love to hear from readers and dog-hearted people! Email me at carasueachterberg@gmail.com.

Many of the pictures on my blog are taken by photographer Nancy Slattery. If you’d like to connect with Nancy to take gorgeous pictures of your pup (or your family), contact: nancyslat@gmail.com.

4 thoughts on “What If You Lose Your Dog?”

  1. Wow, that was easy. It made me check on the dogs’ status with their chips which I keep in their adoption files. Luckily I made sure to provide all manner of details and accompanying photos. It also reminded me to remove my beloved Sam who passed away a few months ago. He still remains in my heart though.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. after losing my cat and get him back 8 weeks later (and having to meet his plane in Florida) I have become a big big fan of microchips. I really had given up on ever seeing my beloved kitty again. We moved on. But the cat came back.

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  3. Cara, we keep copies of Red Fern’s adoption paperwork, as most shelters and rescues do. If adopters ever lose their copies, we can replace them. We also encourage adopters to register their microchips with all of the free registries that are out there. One of the simplest things we ask our adopters to do is to take a picture of their dogs’ microchip bar code so that they’ll always have it handy in their phones. Then if their wallet card is lost or stolen, they have one more resource. Most of them will never need it, but it’s a bit of comfort. Thank you for everything you do for animals!

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