Pardon me for preaching about dog licenses — again. A license is your best defense against losing a dog and I stand by that advice. But there are other things you can do in advance of losing a pet that unexpectedly bolts through the door.
During the holidays, many of you will be traveling and planning to take your pets along. It’s not uncommon for a dog or cat to get away from you in unfamiliar surroundings.
Can’t happen, you say? Tell that to the people who call me each week trying to get help finding a lost pet. Unfortunately, it is a request I can’t accommodate. Believe me, animals get lost every day. It isn’t news.
These are my suggestions — things I do for my own animals — that I have learned after working with people who have lost their animals and those who work in rescue that end up with them.
After you license your dog, your second defense should always be to train your dog to return when you give the command “come.” It’s not as hard as it sounds but as a dog parent, you need to learn how to do it.
Give yourself and your pet the gift of attending a good training class where you will both learn how to rear a great pet. It is well worth the effort. Remember, consistency in training is the key until the animal is programmed to respond to the command.
There are also several other things you can do in advance of traveling or even if you lose a pet near your home.
Microchip your pet and make sure you file the registration information with the company. Update the information as needed, when you move or if you get a new phone number.
Keep current photos of your pets from various angles. If an animal ends up at a shelter or rescue, the photos will be invaluable.
Visit animal rescue sites near your home and ask employees to keep the lost pet flyer with the animal’s photo and other identification information. They will call you if they suspect your dog has been turned in. Rescues don’t want the hassle of giving your pet expensive medical attention in order to get it a new home if it already has one.
If the animal is wearing a current county license tag or microchip with up-to-date information, shelter personnel will contact you.
Home for the Holidays — PAWSibilities, Humane Society of Greater Akron will hold a special adoption event from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 14 at the shelter, 7996 Darrow Road, Twinsburg. Adoption fees for cats over age 6 months are $5 and dogs over 6 months are $55. All animals are spayed or neutered, up to date on vaccines, microchipped, and include a 30-day free trial of pet insurance through 24PetWatch. Call 330-478-0333 for more information.
Pet Photos With Santa — Heaven Can Wait Rescue & Adoptions will offer pet photos with Santa from noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 14 and 15 at Pet Supplies “Plus,” 2789 W. Market St., Fairlawn. Have your pet photographed with Santa for a $5 donation. All photos with Santa will be in digital format emailed to you with all rights for print to create your holiday gifts. For more information, please visit www.heaven-can-wait.com or call 330-328-8699.
Seeking Sanctuary: An APL Benefit — Will be held at 9 p.m. Dec. 14 at Wilberts, 812 Huron Road E., Suite 100, Cleveland. Free event featuring performances by Kristy Kline, Glacial23, Zora and Librarian. There will be an art show featuring art from Erin Barnhart, Renee Taylor and Johnny Habu. To gain entry, bring items from the APL Wish List. For more information, go to www.facebook.com/events/232427946922983/?source=1.
Kathy Antoniotti writes about pets for the Akron Beacon Journal. She is unable to help locate, place or provide medical attention for an individual animal. If you have an idea or question about pets, write her at the Beacon Journal, P.O. Box 640, Akron, OH 44309-0640; call 330-996-3565; or send an email to email@example.com.