We love our pets, and because of the multi-cat households in the country, cats are the most popular companion animal in the United States. We love our cats, and by taking some relatively simple steps, we can prevent them falling into the wrong hands.
Guardians of Animals, based in Smithtown, New York, stated in a news release, lost or “stolen pets are often sold for research in laboratories, forced into dog-fighting… or put up for sale in pet stores.”
The organization offers a plan for pet parents who suspect their beloved cat (or any other pet) has been stolen. “If you suspect that your pet has been stolen, call the police immediately and report the area where your pet was last seen. A quick method of finding lost pets if having your pet microchipped. The average cost rates between $25-$50 and allows pet owners to have the security of tracking their pets, as well as allowing animal control to identify and charge owners who abuse and neglect their pets and pet thieves.”
Guardians of Animals also provided a few ways to help keep your companion animals safe from harm:
Don’t leave animals unattended or unleashed
Keeping your pets close by will greatly reduce the likelihood it will wander off and catch the attention of thieves. Do not tie up pets in front of stores while you run inside or leave unattended in a car. Make sure your animal is not visible from the street and padlock entries to your yard. Keep cats indoors for safety.
Properly identify your pet
Use a collar, tags, microchip and/or a small tattoo to identify your pet. Many shelters and rescues use microchips and/or tattoos to help identify pets in the event that they become lost.
Keep a recent photo of your pet:
Of course we take many kitten pictures, but it is important to have at least a couple of current pictures of your cat at the ready. If your cat or kitten goes missing, use a recent photo to create fliers to distribute immediately and to use on social media “lost and found” pages.
Spay and neuter your pets
Sure, kittens are adorable and practically irresistible, but surgically sterilizing your cat will make him or her far less likely to wander, get into fights, and come to harm. Sterilized pets also have fewer health and behavior problems. Everybody wins! For a “kitten fix,” visit your local rescue or shelter and apply to foster tiny felines.
Keep your info up-to-date
Microchip, tags, and (if applicable) licenses are only as good as the information owners provide. Be sure to keep online microchip information, tags and pets licenses current to help your pet be identified in the event that it goes missing and turns up at animal control, a shelter/rescue, or a veterinary practice.