Families are encouraged to get identification tags for their pets should they become lost or separated from the family.

Families are encouraged to get identification tags for their pets should they become lost or separated from the family.

Tags help find missing pets

Often, permanent pet ID can take place at the same time the animal gets spayed or neutered.

Pets are like four-legged members of our families.

So when one goes missing, it can be profoundly stressful and frightening. That’s why the B.C. SPCA encourages pet guardians to make sure their furry friends are covered – with both a visible identification tag that has the pet’s name and a phone number the guardians can be reached at, as well as permanent ID, such as an ear tattoo or a microchip implant, in case the pet loses his collar.

“Nobody wants to lose their pet. But it does happen, whether a door or window is inadvertently left open, or during a big move, or sometimes, when a loud, scary event – like fireworks – is happening nearby,” says Ryan Voutilainen, Burnaby SPCA branch manager.

He recalls a case last year, when a cat was turned in to the Burnaby SPCA and, because the cat had a microchip implant, they were able to reunite her with her guardians in California, who has lost their beloved feline friend during an earlier camping trip in B.C.

“They drove up as soon as they heard we had her. They were very excited to hear from us,” Voutilainen said, noting that of the thousands of cats who come to the B.C. SPCA’s shelters each year, only eight per cent are returned to their guardians due to a lack of identification.

Often, permanent pet ID can take place at the same time the animal gets spayed or neutered.

“We cannot stress enough the importance of properly identifying your animal. And to always make sure your information is current and updated,” he said.

For more information, visit spca.bc.ca.