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Finding Lost Pets
Losing a pet can be a heartbreaking experience that devastates entire families. Keep medical history and information about medical conditions with you at all times, always have current photos of your pet and be able to describe coat color/markings.
Take steps to protect your pets from loss and pet theft seizures. If you experience a loss or theft, or know someone who does, help support them in finding their lost pet.
Officials at the American Kennel Club have been paying particular attention to stolen dog reports made by owners about dogs stolen from cars, yard and homes. Since January 2011, the number of pet thefts has increased 49% over the previous year. Dog Thefts Are Way Up -- Do You Know How to Protect Your Pet recommends that unique microchip serial numbers and your dog's description be posted in the FBI's National Crime Information Center database under "stolen articles." Other specific prevention tips for pet owners include:
Use a Leash
When owners use a leash for their pets at all times abduction risks can be reduced. Pets on a leash will remain closer to you. You can see who is near your pet and quickly move your pet to safety if needed. Leashes are a primary measure of safety for your pet. It's quick and easy to go without them, but they can prevent a pet theft when used. Be consistent with your leash use so your pet can know to "get dressed" and remain in close proximity to you.
Don't Share Information
Sharing information about your habits, living situation, home location, vehicle or family can increase your pet's vulnerability during your absence. Playing at the beach, dog park or neighborhood park can expose your dog to others that are interested in it. Special skills your dog has or endearing habits in a pricy breed may increase threat opportunities. Know who you're sharing your information with.
Dog Friendly Shopping
Your dog is vulnerable to pet theft when you tie it outside a store, restaurant or shop while you make purchases inside. Make your purchases at dog-friendly stores. Enjoy your meals at restaurants that encourage pets and people to mix during meals.
Tend to Outdoor Pets
When you leave your animals unattended in their yards you can often have a false sense of your pet's safety. Animals that are always outside and visible to others for long stretches of time can become vulnerable to pet theft. Fences can be scaled, broken into or cut to gain access to your family's beloved pet.
Eliminate Locked Vehicles
It will only take you a minute to run into the store or service station or retrieve your briefcase from the office where you forgot it. In that same minute, your pet can be stealthily removed from your car. Vulnerable pets, like electronics equipment in vehicles, can be easily spotted in parked vehicles. They immediately become sitting ducks to would-be thieves. Thieves "won't hesitate to steal a dog right out of a locked car," says pet safety company owner Ines de Pablo.
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Don't take a good vet for granted, that's what I say. I currently live in another state and have taken my 10 year old dog to numerous vets over the years (California, Colorado, Vegas, and then some). Never have I ever received the attention and care I've gotten w/Dr. Hines. Within the past 3 months alone, my dog went to 3 different vets for a horrible and painful skin problem that broke out all over her body.
The first vet: I spent more time ponying up the $175 for the visit than the Dr. spent actually looking at my dog. He performed a woods lamp exam for ringworm. Even without Google or a veterinary degree, I could tell it wasn't ringworm. Thanks for taking my money.
Second vet: "Here's some spray, now here's your bill. Bring her back in two weeks so I can charge you another visit." No tests, nothing.
Between the two, I felt like I got nowhere. No definitive answer on why this affected my dog and the medication given wasn't even for a diagnosed condition. Just some general topical spray. I could have bought it at Petsmart and saved myself the time and money.
Recently, on a visit to Idaho, I planned ahead to bring my dog to the Rupert Animal Clinic. I asked the same questions, had the same concerns and now have different results. Dr. Hines gave me options on what route to take, ran appropriate tests and communicated with me every step of the way (even calling me personally when test results came in). My primary concern was cancer. Our dog is like our child- we'll pay the money if we can keep her healthy and safe. In the future, I've resolved to bring my dog to Rupert Animal Clinic on our annual trip for all of her exams. I know she won't be treated as a little cash cow to exploit an owner's love for pets.