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A well-fitting collar with an ID tag is essential, even for pets who remain primarily indoors or in fenced yards. Courtesy photo
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Lost pets find their way home faster when you take these steps

A little peace of mind goes a long way, and that’s why San Diego Humane Society wants to remind you that May is Microchip Your Pet Month. It’s the perfect time to take stock of all the ways you can protect your pet and greatly increase your chances of reuniting with them should they ever become lost.

“Losing a pet is a stressful, scary and sometimes a costly experience,” said Dr. Gary Weitzman, president and CEO of San Diego Humane Society. “One in three pets will become lost during their lifetime. Those odds are far too high to put off implementing these protective measures.”

It all starts with the basics: a well-fitting collar with an ID tag. This is essential, even for pets who remain primarily indoors or in fenced yards. Make sure your contact information is always up-to-date, and even if you don’t have tags, writing your phone number in permanent marker directly on a collar can make a difference!

Microchipping is another important step we can take to make our pets easily identifiable if they’re found by someone else. A tiny chip (the size of a grain of rice) containing a unique identification number is placed under the skin of your pet in a quick and painless procedure. Animal shelters and veterinarians can scan for the presence of a microchip. Your contact information will show up, making it easy to identify the lost pet and reunite them with you.

A third piece of protection for your pet is their license, which is not only required by law, but gives you additional protection. Microchips and licenses serve as supplemental methods of identification to collars and tags, which — while still critical — can fall off or become lost. They can also help protect your pet from theft, giving you recourse to reclaim your pet if it is found in someone else’s possession.

San Diego Humane Society provides licensing services for all pet owners in their jurisdiction, as well as affordable microchipping clinics. These one-time expenses can save pet owners both time and money spent on searching for a lost pet or paying reclamation fees — and the peace of mind will last for the rest of your pet’s life.

If you do lose a pet, text LOST to 858-SAN-LOST (858-726-5678) to access San Diego Humane Society’s Lost2Found automated texting service, which provides valuable tips to help in your search. But most importantly, make sure you have taken all the proper steps to protect your pet and ensure they can be identified if they are found as a stray. For more helpful resources, visit sdhumane.org/protect.