(Welcome to the weekly pet column of Pet Connection Programs Inc. of Marilla, N.Y. A new article is posted each week, so be sure to check back on a regular basis!)
Dogs are important and adored members of their families, however, millions go missing every year. The reasons are varied and probably not all that surprising. A curious dog might jump over a fence or dig a hole under one. A pup might sneak out a door or gate inadvertently left open. Worn or broken leashes or collars could also allow a dog to escape your control.
Regardless of how a dog is lost, what matters most is getting your pup back home. Here are three important steps to take before and after a dog goes missing:
1. Before your dog ever goes missing, you can help protect your pup. Leverage innovative technology designed to reunite dogs with the people who love them, like the recently launched Wag! Tag, a smarter dog tag from the dog walking and sitting app Wag! Pet parents can use their smartphones to scan the unique code found on the tag to create a profile for their dog with important information, such as emergency and veterinary contacts, vaccination history, food and medicine allergies, and other relevant notes. If your dog ever goes missing, the person who finds your pup can scan the Wag! Tag with their smartphone to access the dog’s profile and contact you. The additional information on the profile can help that person contact someone else if you’re not available, as well as ensure your dog receives good care until you’re reunited.
“Our love for dogs is what led us to launch the Wag! Tag,” says Wag! CEO, Hilary Schneider. “A smarter dog tag will help a lost pup return home more quickly by allowing a pet parent to share a lot more information than is possible with a traditional dog tag.”
Wag! is launching the tags by first providing them free to animal shelters and rescue organizations to help ensure that once rescue dogs find forever homes, they can be quickly reunited with their families if they ever go missing. The company has a long commitment to helping shelter dogs, donating a portion of its dog-walking proceeds to GreaterGood.org’s Rescue Bank. To-date, Wag! has provided more than eight million meals to shelter dogs in the U.S. For more information, visit tag.wagwalking.com/shelter.
2. Use social media to get out the word. Post to your own feed, asking friends and neighbors to share your post. Reach a wider audience by sharing your post on the pages of local community groups.
3. Of course, don’t neglect the traditional tactic of pounding the pavement, asking your neighbors if they’ve seen your pup, as well as posting fliers in highly-trafficked areas in your community. Be sure to include a recent high-resolution picture of your pet. And of course, keep your eyes open!
You can imagine the heartbreak that a lost pup brings. Luckily, new technology as well as old-fashioned neighborly networking, can help ensure a happy reunion.
(For more information on pets and animal adoption, please visit www.petconnectionprogramsinc.com. Or, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/PetConnectionProgramsinc. Located in Marilla, N.Y., Pet Connection Programs Inc. is a nonprofit maternity and special care shelter founded in 1984.)