Besides Valentine’s Day and Read to Your Child Day, today is also an important day for our special four-legged friends. Today is Pet Theft Awareness Day (PTAD).
This annual “holiday” has been observed on Feb. 14 since the Last Chance for Animals (LCA) launched the campaign back in 1988. The event not only brings attention to the issue of pet theft, but also helps educate pet owners on how to protect their beloved pets before it’s too late.
Some people are unaware how often the thefts of beloved pets occur. In fact, pet theft is a “nationwide crisis” according to the National Association of Pet Sitters (NAPPS). It is estimated that about 2 million pets are stolen each year.
Top Tips to Keep Your Pet Safe
One of the most effective ways to protect your pet is to have him or her micro-chipped.
Consider tattooing your pet.
Have up-to-date information on your pets including medical information, physical description and recent photographs.
Before something happens, register Fido & Fluffy with Amber Alert for Pets. The cost of registering all your pets is less than $25 plus annual renewal is well worth the money. And be sure to visit the website for images of pets that are currently missing.
Letting your animal have free reign of the neighborhood is not only a potential hazard to their well-being, but also gives thieves easy access to your pet.
Don’t leave your pet unattended while you run into a store or run errands.
While dogs usually tolerate collars, many cats do not. Considering using a breakaway collar to avoid potential chocking or strangulation hazards in case the collar gets tangled in something.
Never leave pets unattended in vehicles and open yards.
Natural and man-made disasters can wreak havoc on all members of your family, including pets. Be prepared before an emergency happens to your family.
Whether you are travelling cross country or across town in a plane, train or automobile, make sure you are prepared. Many animals are lost during transit.
Consider purchasing pet insurance for your favorite furry friends.
Please spay and neuter your pets.
Important Tips to Locate Lost Pets
As soon as you notice your pet is missing, contact your local animal shelter/pound, humane society, radio stations, newspapers and law enforcement agency. Some newspapers allow free postings for missing/stolen pets. Time is of the essence.
Canvas the neighborhood, repeatedly calling your pet’s name.
Be sure to contact vet’s offices in your area and place posters or notices there as well.
Contact your neighbors.
Put up posters around your neighborhood, stores, and businesses.
Utilize social media – post photos, information on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Some devote special pages to find lost pets.
Keep searching and don’t give up!
The sooner you get the word out, the better.