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The back door is open, the back gate is open,
your pet is lost — panic time, right?

Wrong.

Now is the time for action, not panic.

Here are 10 things to do if your pet is lost, to make it easier for your lost pet to be returned to you:

  1. File a lost pet report with every shelter and animal control office within a 60-mile radius of your home and visit the nearest shelters daily, if possible.
  2. Get the word out to all veterinarians in the area. Sometimes people pick up a stray and drive it to a distant clinic.
  3. Walk or drive through your neighborhood several times each day. Enlist friends and family to help. Hand out a recent photograph of your pet with your contact information.
  4. Speak with your neighbors. The more people who know you have lost a pet and that you are desperately trying to find your pet, the more people will call you if they see a loose animal.
  5. Place flyers in the neighborhood and public places. To avoid scams, when describing your pet, leave out one characteristic and ask the person who finds your pet to describe it.
  6. Post about your pet on all pet recovery websites (like PawBoost.com) and services. Sites such as Craigslist.org, TheCenterForLostPets.com and FidoFinder.com broadcast your missing pet quickly.
  7. Consider a lost pet recovery service. There are numerous lost pet alert services that will contact homes, veterinarians, shelters and animal control organizations for a reasonable fee.
  8. Place food and water outside your home [warning: this may attract strays and wildlife.] Your pets may return to your home when they get hungry or thirsty. Consider placing food in a humane pet trap to capture them.
  9. Tell everyone you see about your pet and ask them to keep their eyes open. The more people you alert, the greater the chance someone will recollect seeing your pet in their area.
  10. Don’t give up. Be aggressive in your search, get lots of help and get the word out right away. You need those early hours to put up posters and start your search.

Bonus Tip: Protect your pet before it goes missing with a permanent microchip ID, like HomeAgain. A microchip ID helps to prove ownership and increases the chance that your pet will be returned to you. And be sure to keep your contact information updated in the microchip ID manufacturer’s database.

Ready? Contact Us at Little Creek Veterinary Clinic to schedule your pet’s ‘chip appointment.

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Article above originally produced by dvm360.

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If your pet ends up at a shelter, it may be difficult
to distinguish it from other similar-looking pets.

Tuxedo cat 1. Photo by Little Creek Veterinary Clinic

Tuxedo cat 1.

Tuxedo cat 2.

Tuxedo cat 2.

Or it could be just this easy.

The key to your pet's return.

The key to your pet’s return.

HomeAgain Microchips offer instant, reliable identification
at the push of a button.

HomeAgain's universal scanner reads chips by any manufacturer, so all pets can make it safely home.

HomeAgain’s universal scanner reads chips by any manufacturer, so all pets can make it safely home.

Your pet can’t call home when it’s lost –
so let someone else make the call for her.

ha_logo_2009_web_512x144

Ask us to “chip” your pet on her next visit.
Visit HomeAgain to learn more.

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This article originally appeared on April 23, 2012.

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April 17 – April 23 is National Pet ID Week 

You’re probably wondering why an entire week out of the year is dedicated to this concept — rather than just a day or two. Well, it may be because each year, millions of dogs and cats go missing, and not all of them return home. Since many of those pets leave the house without any form of identification, it is clear that we still need to spread the word about the importance of pet identification.

According to HomeAgain, 1 in 3 pets will get lost during their lifetime; 10 million pets go missing every year; without ID, 90% of lost pets never return home.

The fact is, just like wearing a seatbelt increases your odds of surviving a car accident, wearing some form of identification increases a pet’s odds of being reunited with its family.

Common types of pet ID:

Identification tag
PRO: Can be personalized and gives the finder an immediate link to your contact info
CON: Tag info can wear off; tag must be replaced when you move or change phone numbers; tag can come off the collar or is lost when pet slips its collar

Tattoo
PRO: Is a permanent form of identification
CON: Is a code, rather than direct contact info; many pet finders are not familiar with tattoo databases; tattoos can blur; tattoos can be altered beyond recognition

Microchip
PRO: Safe, permanent form of pet ID; microchip lasts a lifetime; can be done as office visit at vet’s (no anesthesia required); support website [www.petmicrochiplookup.org] can provide info on any brand of chip; pet finders know to have stray animals scanned for a chip; owner can update contact info easily via internet (no need for a new chip); HomeAgain generates “lost pet” notices for enrolled animals; chipped and enrolled pets are protected against being claimed by a non-owner; animal shelters will work harder to reunite chipped pets with owners, rather than resort to euthanasia; microchip numbers cannot be altered
CON: Is a code, rather than direct contact info; some scanners may not be able to read certain chips

An implantable chip, 1/2 inch in length, can be the key to your pet's safe return. Microchip photo by Little Creek Veterinary Clinic.

An implantable chip, 1/2 inch in length, can be the key to your pet’s safe return. Microchip photo by Little Creek Veterinary Clinic.

Whatever your preference, make sure your pet is identifiable, should it ever leave the home or yard. We invite you to Contact Us to learn more about HomeAgain microchips and to schedule your pet’s chipping today.

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UPDATE: Huey has been found and returned home.

(photo removed)

Please help get Huey back home. He disappeared tonight in the 23513 area of Norfolk.

Huey is an intact male Dachshund-mix breed dog with golden brown fur. 

He has a HomeAgain microchip ID and was wearing his tags.

If you find Huey, please call HomeAgain at 1-888-466-3242 and report his microchip number: 

Dogs on the run can often be shy about being touched on the head or face, so always use caution when approaching an unfamiliar dog.

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TagsIs your dog or cat 4 months of age or older? If so, it should have a current Rabies vaccination, which will be issued along with a Rabies tag. When placed on your pet’s collar, the tag provides valuable information to help people return your pet if he or she runs away.


But did you know there is another tag your pet should be wearing?
It’s the city pet license tag. 

All dogs are required to be licensed by the city in which they live.  Some cities, such as Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk and Virginia Beach, issue cat licenses, as well.  Pet licenses must be renewed each year and are granted to pets that have a current Rabies vaccination.

There is a small cost involved, and pet owners typically receive a discount on licensing fees for each spayed or neutered pet.  Senior citizens may receive an additional discount on fees for spayed or neutered pets.

     Click on your city’s name for information on license fees, due dates, and issuing agencies.

The Commonwealth of Virginia requires all dogs and cats over four months old to be vaccinated against Rabies

Virginia has also instituted a law requiring veterinarians to forward Rabies vaccination information to local city treasurers.  The treasurer compares information received from the veterinarians with its roster of licensed animals.  If an owner has not purchased a license, the treasurer will mail a notice to the owner requesting compliance.

Veterinarians are not required to report unlicensed animals to city agencies.  Our concern is the public health aspect of ensuring that pets and their owners are protected against Rabies, since Rabies is present in Hampton Roads.  Pet owners are responsible for complying with pet license rules in their city of residence.

A final note: a microchip ID is not a substitute for a Rabies or city license tag, nor are the tags a substitute for a microchip ID. Each form of identification has its own merits. To protect your pet with permanent identification that will not wear off, get lost, or be removed by a stranger, ask us for the HomeAgain microchip on your pet’s next visit.

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This post appeared on January 22, 2013.

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(photo removed)

Good news:  Bonnie has been found!

Bonnie is missing from Baldwin Ave., Norfolk 23517, just east of Manteo St.
Bonnie snuck out the front door at about 9 PM on Monday, Sept. 22nd.

She is an American Shorthair cat, 2 years old, brown and black tabby, and weighs about 12 pounds.
Bonnie has a HomeAgain microchip, the last three digits of which are: 176.

If you know where Bonnie is, or think you have seen her around, please contact HomeAgain any time of the day or night, at 1-888-466-3242.

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Getting your pet back after it’s gone missing is the best part of microchipping — and it’s the part you can see. But what about the foundation —  all the work that goes into getting your pet back to you? Read on to learn why HomeAgain has (in our opinion) the best lost pet recovery system out there.

ha_logo_2009_web_512x144

Each new microchip registration comes with a one-year membership with full benefits, including:

  • 24/7 Lost Pet Specialists, ready to serve you
  • Rapid Lost Pet Alerts sent to area veterinarians and shelters
  • Medical Insurance for lost pets (up to $2950; must be activated by pet owner)
  • Personalized Lost Pet Posters, to help you spread the word
  • 24/7 Emergency Medical Hotline – first aid advice when you need it
  • Travel assistance up to $500* to get your pet home (*applies to airfare costs for pets located more than 500 miles from home)

After the first year, you decide whether to continue your membership benefits. Either way, your pet will be permanently enrolled in HomeAgains database – and there is no additional yearly cost simply to remain enrolled.

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