Remember when your dog got lost and you knocked on every door in the neighborhood? You posted flyers on telephone poles and called the local animal shelter in hopes that a dog or cat remarkably similar to yours was currently being housed there? In fact, you’re wishing your pet just arrived and hadn’t even darkened the doors of the dreaded kennel intake area? Unfortunately, The Humane Society of the United States says that nearly 10 million pets go missing every year and only 10% are found. Many of these pets die in a shelter by lethal injection or get hit by a car. Yes, there are people out there using bloodhounds and pet detectives (seriously) to find their escaped pets, but with the wizardry of current lost and found technology, pets are definitely getting a share of the tech pie. My, my, how things have changed! Most of you are familiar with Microchipping. You’ve probably already utilized this product for a number of your pets, especially since pet tattoos are rarely performed nowadays. The concept of using microchips in pets, I believe, has been one of the early pathfinders in pet technology advancement, and is rewriting the statistics on lost animals. They’re tiny transponders, rice-grain size, that use radio frequency waves to transmit information about your pet. I did not realize that this device has been around for at least 20 years! I think every pet owner should microchip along with the use of additional technology. They’re even designed to last 25 years (another thing I didn’t know).Each microchip contains a registration number and the phone number of the registry for the particular brand of chip. They’re usually implanted between the shoulder blades. A handheld scanner reads the radio frequency of the chip and the information flashes on the display screen. Here’s another idea I really love: Pet Amber Alert. You’re familiar with the Amber Alert broadcasting information about lost or abducted kids? The Pet Amber Alertuses the same technology to get the word out about your beloved Rover. The Pet Amber Alert not only notifies the entire neighborhood of your missing pet, but blasts out phone and poster alerts with photos and pet information, initially given by you to the Amber Alert staff. This information goes to veterinarians, shelters, animal control, pet stores and volunteer rescue folks within a 10-100 mile radius of where your pet was last seen. Up to thousands may receive your LOST PET alert. I’ve received a number of these alerts through Facebook. It certainly takes a village, doesn’t it? For you Smart Phone users, there’s something just for you. When someone finds a lost pet, a person with the free Lost Pet Tracker iPhone app can simply open up the app, photograph the dog or cat, enter in some info, and press send. Voila! Owners of missing pets get the photo, details, and a map of the pet’s location. Amazing!! Want to do more than track your pet’s location? Do you want to see how she’s doing during the day when you’re gone? Tagg-The Pet Tracker involves GPS Location Tracking and Activity Tracking. It links to cellphone networks, and is a small water resistant device attached to your pet’s collar. It’s not only a practical tool for knowing your pet’s whereabouts, but how also measures how much activity your pet is getting each day. Veterinarians recommend 30-60 minutes of exercise each day, so it would be fun to see just how many calisthenics they’re really doing that afternoon. Detailed charts give you a snapshot of your pet’s total activity. There are other GPS tracking devices ranging from RoamEO, which uses a handset to track your dog or the Garmin GTU 10. Some other helpful ways to scout: The Internet: Flealess Market’s Lost Pet’s International page—flealess.org/lostpets Fidofinder.com Missing Pet Network — missingpet.net The Center for Lost Pets —thecenterforlostpets.com Twitter Craig’s List Facebook If you’ve lost a pet, please HURRY to start your search!!! Minutes are precious. I’m rooting for you and all the lost critters out there because there’s no place like home!
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