2001-Sat Feb 25 02:07:17 MST 2017
Vetstreet. All rights reserved.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
The results of what is believed to be the first published national study on lost pets may surprise you. The actual percentage of cats and dogs reported lost was lower than researchers expected, but the percentage of lost dogs safely returned to their homes was higher than they anticipated.
“There were several surprises from our study,” reports Dr. Emily Weiss, a certified-applied animal behaviorist and vice president of shelter research and development for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. “I think we have made an assumption about the stray pets in shelters — assuming that those animals are lost pets with owners that are actively seeking them. While some of those dogs and cats are in fact lost, many of them are likely to be dogs and cats that are truly homeless.”
The ASPCA conducted a survey of 1,015 pet households, and the findings of its five-year effort are published in the June 2012 issue of the journal Animals.
Among the key findings:
To better the odds of being reunited with their owners, Dr. Weiss advises that pets should be microchipped and wear identification collars with easy-to-read contact information.
“We suggest that the tag should have the cell phone number of the pet parent, the cell number of an emergency contact, the land line of the pet parent, and if the person is comfortable doing so, the street address of their home,” she says.
Dr. Weiss urges owners to begin checking their area animal shelters the first day their pet goes missing. She also recommends bringing in a clear photo of the pet to help officials identify the cat or dog and possibly hasten the reunion.
The information from this study is expected to help ASPCA officials develop programs that may increase the likelihood of owners finding their lost pets.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Take our breed quiz to find your next pet.
Get all the best pet news and information sent right to your inbox!
Thank you for subscribing!
Dogs and cats help improve our mental,
social and physical health — and we
have the science to prove it!
We asked our readers to share the funny
things and skillful tricks their dogs will do
to get Milk-Bone® Pill…
It’s more than just cute when your kitty
naps in a box — it’s an instinctive
behavior that’s hardwired in her…
Herding dog, search-and-rescue dog, guide dog, police dog, farm dog — you name it, the German Shepherd can do it.
Check out our collection of more than 250 videos about pet training, animal behavior, dog and cat breeds and more.
Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than 300 breeds for you.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.