According to “petfinder” up to two million pets are stolen in the U.S. each year and only about 10% are ever returned home. It is absolutely disgusting that two million of our loved ones are stolen each year when we have the technology in place to rescue them.
Often pets our stolen and Sold to research laboratories. The USDA categorizes “animal dealers” in either Class A dealers – who maintain their own breeding colonies—and Class B—who get animals from “random sources.” The USDA issues licenses to any shmuck on the street for $50 with little or no oversight. The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) inspectors are charged with overseeing dealer records, but unfortunately APHIS is extremely understaffed and unregulated.
Regrettably, many “random sourced” animals come from someone’s backyard or free “Good home” ads. Class B dealers then sell pets to research facilities where researchers prefer former pets because they are easier to handle.
Preventing pet theft.
The easiest way to protect against pet theft is to keep an eye on your loved one, make sure play areas are secured, and ensure your pet is properly identified, microchipped, and registered.
The easiest way to retrieve your pet, if its lost or stolen, is to have him or her properly implanted and registered. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), a study of more than 7,700 stray animals at animal shelters showed that dogs without microchips were returned 21.9% of the time, whereas microchipped dogs were returned 52.2% of the time. Cats without microchips were returned only 1.8% of the time, whereas microchipped cats were returned 38.5% of the time.
Understanding the Microchipping Process
Microchipping, at its core, is a simple procedure. A microchip is implanted between your pet’s shoulder blades, just beneath the skin. This chip carries a unique identification number. If someone finds your pet and takes it to a shelter or veterinarian, they can use a special scanner to read the microchip’s ID number. Once the number is retrieved, they can access the chip manufacturer’s recovery database to find the pet owner’s contact details. It’s a straightforward yet powerful system that has reunited countless lost pets with their owners.
Benefits Beyond Just Identification
While the primary purpose of microchipping is to ensure your pet can be identified, there are additional benefits that many pet owners might overlook. For one, having a microchipped pet can act as a deterrent to potential thieves. Knowing that a pet can be easily traced back to its owner makes it a less appealing target. Furthermore, in the tragic event of a dispute over pet ownership, having your pet microchipped provides undeniable evidence that the pet belongs to you.
Updating Information is Key
A microchip is only as good as the information it’s linked to. If you move, change your phone number, or make any other significant changes, it’s vital to update your pet’s microchip registration. In too many unfortunate cases, pets remain lost because the details attached to their microchip are outdated. A few minutes spent updating this information could mean the difference between losing a pet forever and a joyful reunion.
The Global Reach of Microchipping
While the post touches upon the statistics in the U.S., it’s worth noting that the benefits of microchipping extend globally. Many countries now have standardized microchipping systems, making it easier than ever to identify and recover pets, even if they’re lost while traveling abroad. The international scope of microchipping adds another layer of security for pet owners everywhere.
Pet Theft Awareness Day
Every year, Pet Theft Awareness Day serves as a crucial reminder of the ongoing battle against pet theft and the importance of being proactive in safeguarding our pets. Celebrated on February 14th, a day most associate with love and affection, this event highlights the deep bond we share with our pets and the heartbreak that ensues when they are taken from us. It encourages pet owners to learn about the preventive measures they can adopt, from microchipping to secure fencing, ensuring our pets remain safe. The day also advocates for stronger legislation against pet theft, emphasizing that our furry friends are not mere property but cherished family members.
Pet Insurance for Theft
Insurance isn’t just for health concerns. Many pet owners are now considering pet insurance that covers theft. Such policies not only provide monetary compensation if your pet is stolen but also often cover costs associated with the search, including rewards and advertisement fees. This can be particularly reassuring for owners of breeds that are frequently targeted by thieves. By investing in pet theft insurance, owners are better equipped to launch a comprehensive search if the worst happens, enhancing the likelihood of a joyful reunion.
Pet Theft Statistics
The numbers surrounding pet theft are both alarming and enlightening. According to recent reports, pet thefts have seen an upward trajectory, with certain breeds of dogs being more susceptible than others. For instance, smaller breeds and those with distinctive appearances are often more targeted. Moreover, regions with less stringent pet theft laws tend to see higher instances of theft. By staying informed about these statistics, pet owners can gauge the risks and take necessary precautions, tailoring their protective measures according to their specific circumstances.
Pet Theft Laws
The legal landscape concerning pet theft varies significantly across regions. In many jurisdictions, pets are unfortunately still classified as ‘property’, meaning their theft is often treated similarly to that of an inanimate object. However, the rising recognition of pets as integral family members has prompted some areas to re-evaluate these laws. Stricter penalties, including heftier fines and longer prison sentences, are being implemented to deter potential thieves. Furthermore, there’s a growing movement advocating for pets to be reclassified in legal terms, recognizing the emotional trauma inflicted on owners when their pets are taken. It’s crucial for pet owners to familiarize themselves with their local laws and join forces with advocacy groups working to strengthen legal protections for pets.
Here at Peeva, we love our pets and want to provide owners with an effective solution to the missing pet epidemic. We are standardizing the pet industry’s RFID and microchip technology, linking pets’ medical records and owner information with veterinarians and animal shelters, building a cloud based registry, and instantly notifying owners when and where their pet is scanned. Together we can make this a thing of the past! Scan the chip. Save the Pet!
P.S. We Need More Regulations!
Write to your local representative or USDA to increase create and actively enforce, heightened microchipping requirements, pet theft regulations, and prohibit Class B Dealer licenses. Together, we can erase the stolen pet figures and save our loved ones!