Good morning CHS supporters!
Today on the blog, we’re bringing you some important information that we hope you’ll never need. Spring always marks an increase in the number of lost reports received by our animal admissions team and today we are bringing you the inside scoop on the kind of information you will want to store in a safe place in the event your pet goes missing.
The basic information of your pet’s name, age, gender, size, weight, colour and distinguishing marks are always very helpful. Even though you may feel like you could list these off in a heartbeat, when the crisis of a missing pet is happening it can sometimes be difficult to remember some details. We recommend writing down all of this information to ensure you have it when you need it most. An added bonus? If a pet sitter or friend is looking after your pet they will also have easy access to all the information they need.
In addition to basic information about your pet, we will be asking you for your basic information too! Don’t be surprised if you are asked for your name, address, phone number and other details so we can get in touch with you if your pet comes in to the shelter.
We will likely ask you what area of the city your pet went missing in. This helps us narrow down where they might come in from. If your pet went missing in a location far away from where you live, let admissions staff know if your pet is familiar with the area they went missing in. If you have recently moved it is worth letting our animal admissions staff know what area you have moved from as some animals have been known to travel long distances to get back to a former house.
Was your pet wearing a collar? What colour is it? What tags (if any) were they wearing? In addition to asking about collars we will also ask you for your pet’s tattoo number and microchip number if you have them. Recording these in a safe place will be very helpful in getting your pet home.
Including photos in a lost report can significantly increase the likelihood that your pet will be recognized. Unfortunately, the pictures we take to celebrate our pets are great for memories, but often not great for identification! Taking a set of photos that you keep in a safe and accessible place specifically for identification is a great way to ensure that if your pet becomes lost you will have the best chance of bringing them home. A good set of identification photos includes at least 2 pictures: one taken head on and one taken from the side (take photos of both sides if your animal looks dramatically different on one side vs. the other). When taking these photos make sure the animal’s entire body can be seen, especially any distinguishing marks or physical characteristics. When taking the picture, consider taking it in a setting that provides clear information about how large or small your pet is (next to a fire hydrant or other landmark that is normally a standard size). Make sure your photo is well lit and has lots of detail – your pet should be as large as possible in the photo while still getting their whole body in the picture. Update these photos as your animal ages or if they have a dramatic change in appearance (grooming can sometimes make pets look very different, for example).
Let everyone know where the information is: After you have stored all of your pet’s information in one location, let other family members and pet sitters or friends who look after your pet know where the information is so they can access it in an emergency.
While this may sound like a lot of information to collect, once you have done this initial collection you only have to update the information as necessary. We recommend having a look at the information at least once a year to ensure it is still correct.
We hope you found this article helpful! Having this information available in an emergency is hugely useful to our admissions staff and greatly increases the chance that your animal can be correctly identified if they arrive at the shelter. We hope you never need this information, but, if you ever do, our animal admissions staff are here to help.