“Tail” of Two Dogs

by DFS-Pet-Blog on May 13, 2011

Boat-Landing **Guest Post From Janet S.**

Driving home from work the other night, I passed a local boat landing to see two beautiful dogs sniffing around. Seeing no cars or people in sight, I pulled in to have a look. The yellow lab came in my direction and immediately sat at my feet. I thought this dog was too friendly and well-behaved to NOT be someone’s pet. I examined the flea collar and chain collar she had on and found no sign of ID tags. So, I let her into my van where she immediately curled up and laid down.

Next, her companion, a young snow-white husky with one brown eye and one bluish-white eye approached. He wasn’t about to be left out of some petting. I looked at his collar and flea collar and the only sign of a tag was the metal clip attached to it that was stretched out. I let him in my van too and he lay right down.

I couldn’t find anyone on the road that knew where they belong, but many reported seeing them there almost all day. I called our local sheriff dispatch center to get some assistance. No one had reported missing dogs so they took my information and would get back to me. “Here boy” and “here girl”, as they became called by my kids that night, headed home with me.


We were greeted by two excited kids. The strays got lots of petting, some time playing catch, and some fresh water and a little bit of food. We brought them inside and they made themselves right at home quickly and laid down to rest.

Our dispatch called back to say the town approved them going to the shelter, but no one from the shelter could be reached so I had two choices; keep them overnight or let them go. They were such good pets that there was no way I could send them out into the woods.

After a few trips in and out for the bathroom, the dogs settled down on the floor next to my side of the bed. The female lab settled very quickly and didn’t move the entire night. The husky, who we found out later was only eight months old, took longer to settle, but was still very good. He tried to sneak on the bed a few times, but listened when told to lie down.

Morning came and I headed off to take the kids to school and go to work. Luckily, my husband could stay with our visitors all day. I called the local animal shelter but it was full and couldn’t take them. They took our name and number.

After work, I was heading home to get the dogs to take them to a local vet to scan for a chip. (An important step if there are no tags.) Part way home, the phone rang! It was my husband saying the owner called and was coming. She had contacted the shelter and they knew from my call that we had them. We were very happy and relieved!

As she stepped out of the car, Willow and Molly got VERY excited! They were going home! Willow and Molly now had names again. They were headed home to a 12-year-old little girl who cried herself to sleep because her beloved pets were lost.

Luckily, our little adventure had a very happy ending, but it is not always the case.

  • According to the ASPCA website, approximately 5 million to 7 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year, and approximately 3 million to 4 million are euthanized (60% of dogs and 70% of cats). Shelter intakes are about evenly divided between those animals relinquished by owners and those picked up by animal control. These are national estimates; the percentage of euthanasia may vary from state to state.
  • According to the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy (NCPPSP), less than 2% of cats and only 15 to 20% of dogs are returned to their owners. Most of these were identified with tags, tattoos, or microchips.

Do you know what to do or who to call if you find a lost pet?

  • I personally keep our local non-emergency number in my cell phone for this and other purposes.
  • Use caution when approaching or helping them. There may be situations where the most you can do is call and it is not safe to encounter the pets.

Have you identified your pets so if they get separated you can be contacted?

pet ID tags

  • The most common way to identify a pet is the standard pet ID tag. List the pet’s name, your name, contact number, and if the pet has any medical needs. My dog has a second ID tag that states, “On medication, please contact my owner immediately.” Some may put, “dog may have seizures” or other similar statements.
  • If your dog tends to knock ID tags off, try a higher quality ring to attach them to the collar or consider a nameplate that can be attached directly to the main part of the collar.
  • Another way would be to get a microchip implanted in your dog. Most local vets will scan a pet for free to see if they have an implanted chip.
  • Finally, be sure to inspect your pet’s identification on a regular basis and replace when worn or if your contact information changes.

All is well that ends well!

A dog by any other name is sometimes just as sweet.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Rosemary May 13, 2011 at 8:27 am

Lucky doggies to be found and returned home. Both Ilka and Lucky wear collars with three tags First is their Rabies tags, traceable to my vet. Then there is their microchip tags, letting people know they are chipped, and what chip they have (Lucky has an AVID, Ilka a Bayer ResQ). Last, but denifitely not least, the have their ID tags with our address and phone numbers. In addition, both are tattood with my Social Security Number.

I check their tags frequently, and never attach their leashes to the collar that has their tags. I use an additional martingale collar for walks and training, because I worry that they could slip out of their regular buckle collars. That’s what happened to Lucky when he got lost in Anaheim, CA. He jumped out of the car on my husband, and slipped his collar when he hit the end of his leash. It was a very scary and upsetting six hours.

Even the cats wear collars and tags. I only have an ID tag on them, because they have lost so many collars. I keep their Rabies tags with their other records. Then they also have thier microchips (a mix of AVID, 24PetWatch, and Bayer ResQ), but most have lost the tags. Each cat is also tattood. Most of them have a star in their ear, but See-See has a little female symbol on her tummy, courtesy of the Humane Society, which is where I had her spayed. Boeing needs to have his tatoo redone, because it has faded to the point where even I can’t see it, and I know where it is supposed to be. T-Max will not be be tattood and microchipped until she is spayed, but currently wears a collar.

Ellen B. May 13, 2011 at 11:30 am

Rosemary, “Tattooed” eh? Hmm, I going to have to assume that is the only thing you haven’t done!

I just purchased a new ID tag for my puppy today! Got the nameplate type that attaches to the collar so she stops jingling 🙂

Rosemary May 13, 2011 at 12:36 pm

Okay, so I can’t spell. Some words are tricky.

My vet uses an electric tattoo machine, similar to the ones used on people, but there are small plier-type devices that you can use for ear tattooes (usually just numbers and letters) on cats, dogs, and other small animals. Check out a retired racing Greyhound, and you will see its tattooes. They are tattooed in both ears, and you can look up their registered name, breeding, and track record, all by the tattooes. Tattooes also meet AKC individual dog idenitficaton standards, and are frequently used by “commercial breeders”.

As for the tags jingling, I like it. If one of the cats loses its collar, we say they in “stealth mode”, because we can’t hear them coming.

One other note on tattooes- They are visable, while a microchip is not. Somebody who might not think to take an animal (a cat espcially) without a collar or tags to a vet or shelter to scan for a microchip will probably see a tattoo, assume the animal has an owner, and be more likely to report finding it.

Janet S. May 13, 2011 at 2:44 pm

Rosemary, thank you for bringing up the subject of tattoos. I didn’t think to mention them as I have not seen them around here in pets. I would have noticed a tattoo fairly quickly because the ears were one of the things I checked first when I knew the dogs were well-behaved. Inspecting the ears and teeth helped me identify that they were young and well cared for.

As for microchips, most non-dog owners would not think of it. I have to admit it took me quite a few hours before I thought of it, and it was my phone calls the next day to local vets that led me to one saying that they scan for free.

Pets are members of the family and since they can’t “speak” their name and address to us, it is a good idea to identify them. It reminds me of putting a tag on my daughter’s backpack in kindergarten stating her bus number, phone number, etc., so I could be called if something happened and she couldn’t tell anyone that information. We desire to keep them safe and loved!

Rosemary May 13, 2011 at 5:30 pm

Actually, most pet dogs are tattooed on the inside of their hind leg, where there is very little hair. A registered dog would most likely have it’s registration number. An unregistered dog would probably have its owner’s driver’s license number or SSN, although you could put anything within reason. Racing Greyhounds are tattooed in their ears because it’s faster to check the ears than roll the dog on it’s back to read a tattoo.

Rosemary May 15, 2011 at 9:06 pm

Just an update about my ID’d up the wazoo dogs. Ilka qualified in both Beginner Novice Obedience and Rally Novice in both trials, winning first place by default. She was the only dog to actually compete in all her classes. The others never showed up. She now has two legs of her BN title, and has earned her RN in her first three trials. As for Lucky, a local Rat Terrier breeder has encouraged me to get his PAL, and going for an RN and BN on him, also.

We had a very unusual dog at the Sunday Rally trial. Have you ever seen a Portugese Podengo? I’ve seen pictures of them, and knew they came in three sizes, but didn’t realize how large the Grande size is. He is from the first litter of Grande Podengos born in the United States. His owner also had an Ibizan Hound in Obedience.

LailaSmith01 May 16, 2011 at 8:29 pm

Wow it’s rare for lost dogs to be returned to their homes. It’s a good thing you were the one to take Molly and Willow in for a while until you found their homes. 🙂

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Janet S. May 25, 2011 at 4:05 pm

Thank you Laila – much appreciated! Our family was glad to see them returned home too. It took up a little extra time and dog food on our end, but knowing they are home is worth it! I would hope someone would do the same for us if ours ever get out and we’re not home for a phone call.

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