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The power of permanent pet ID: Furry family members reunited with humans

January 1, 2017

The cat came back, and even if it wasn’t the very next day, it was definitely due to the fact that he had permanent identification, such as an ear tattoo or microchip. At BC SPCA shelters across the province, several animals have been reunited with their guardians, thanks to permanent pet ID.

In Williams Lake, a sweet senior cat named Licorice came in as a stray, but because he had a microchip that contained contact information, his guardians were found – all the way in Vancouver.

“After more than a year, he got to go home to the family and the little boy who loves his feline friend dearly,” says BC SPCA Williams Lake Branch manager Liz Dighton. “We have no idea how he ended up at our branch in Williams Lake, but all’s well that ends well, when your pet has permanent ID like a microchip.”

Another cat, Oscar, was found near the Main Street SkyTrain station with an injury to one of his front paws.

“After we traced his tattoo, we discovered he had gone missing in Langley! We still have no idea how Oscar came to be in downtown Vancouver but it was so wonderful to be able to reunite him with his family,” says BC SPCA Vancouver Branch manager Jodi Dunlop.

“Again, we see how important it is for pets to have permanent ID such as a tattoo or microchip – and the fact that it’s so important to keep contact information current. Without that, it is unlikely this family would have found Oscar in our shelter, so far from his home.”

In Comox on Vancouver Island, DJ went missing more than two years ago, but his guardian regularly came by to inquire if her cat had showed up, and chat with staff about how much she missed him.

“She never gave up hope, and two years and four months later, she finally received the call she was waiting for because DJ had a tattoo,” says BC SPCA Comox & District Branch manager Emily Priestley.

“We are so happy for both of them and so glad that DJ is home for the holidays!”

Such stories showcase how important permanent pet identification is, and while collars and tags are also recommended, collars can become lost or come off if an animal escapes the home, notes BC SPCA general manager of community relations Lorie Chortyk.

“Keeping your contact information current is also key, as people move and change addresses or phone numbers all the time,” Chortyk says.

“Registering your animal in the province’s only provincial permanent pet ID database, the BC Pet Registry, also helps – you can go in and change your contact information at any time, once you’re registered.”

Any microchip, licence, or tattoo can be registered in the BC Pet Registry, at $12 per year or $45 for the lifetime of your pet.

“No one wants to lose a pet, but it happens every day in B.C. Why not ensure you have peace of mind if the unthinkable happens?” says Chortyk.

To register your pet’s permanent ID or to find out more about the BC Pet Registry, visit bcpetregistry.ca.