As real estate agents in Bryan/College Station, we often find ourselves observing many things in our community throughout the course of our day. Recently while finishing up photographing a new listing in Southwood Valley, I noticed a cute dog frolicking down the street. I noticed, too, that while he was obviously enjoying his new found freedom on a beautiful fall day, he was unattended by his owner. I finished up my photos, and drove down the street to find him. After a few blocks, there he was, still smiling, unaware he was straying far from home.
Now my husband will tell you, I am a habitual pet rescuer by nature. So true to my form, I turned my vehicle around and pulled to the curb. This cute little yellow labrador came right over to greet me. I loaded him in my backseat and we pulled around the corner to a less busy street. Now, luckily, this dog had two tags on his collar. I was hopeful that I could find his owner soon.
One tag was from Wellborn Road Veterinary Medical Center. It came complete with a phone number and 6-digit rabies vaccination number. This made it very easy to locate the owner. I called the vet’s office and gave them the number off their tag, and they cross-referenced it to the dog owner’s file. They contacted the owner and had the owner then contact me, all the while the dog and I were safely parked on the side of the road, hopefully in his neighborhood. The owner contacted me and then met me at their home about 10 minutes later. When we arrived, it was pretty clear that the dog had made a jailbreak through the gate of the privacy fence. But no worries, he was safe now and the owner was grateful.
In this case, the pet had the tag clearly identifying the veterinarian who administered the rabies vaccine. In some cases though, the rabies vaccination tag does not have the vet number, so you would have to rely on the second tag on the dog’s collar, the Brazos County license tag to help find his owner. Usually these two tags come hand-in-hand at the time of the vaccination. What most people don’t know is, if you call the phone number on the county tag and give the attendant the 5-digit license number, they will only be able to pull up the owner, IF THE OWNER HAS REGISTERED THE PET WITH THE COUNTY, and kept current the information. Do not automatically assume this has been done by the people who administered the vaccination.
Another common misconception is with the microchipping of pets. Microchipping is a very effective way to identify your pet. This is done by inserting a tiny encoded chip just under the skin of your pet. The Brazos Animal Shelter microchips all pets that are adopted from the shelter, for example. Included with a microchipped pet is a plastic tag with the identification number, and a phone number for the microchip company. But here is the thing~ YOU MUST GO ONLINE AND REGISTER YOUR PET in order for the pet owner’s information to show up in the national database when the pet is scanned after being found. There is a minimal one-time registration fee to do this.
Last but certainly not least, if you do not prefer to have all these jingly-jangly tags on your pet, please go by Petsmart and buy a name tag for your pet’s collar. They are relatively inexpensive, and you can have it engraved (while you wait) with the pet’s name, address, and phone number where you can be reached if your pet should happen to find themselves out exploring our big world.
Do not be lulled into thinking that just because you have a few tags hanging on your pet’s collar, that your pet will be returned to you safely. Pets are picked up everyday by Animal Control, and it will be a hefty fine for you to claim your pet if your pet does not have identification. REGISTER YOUR PET!
Lisa R. Shaw, Broker/REALTOR, Century 21 Beal