Keeping your pet safe-an important pet recovery tip.

Each year thousands of animals are admitted to animal shelters and humane societies.The statistics say that one out of three pets will become lost in their lifetime. Microchips are a permanent method of pet identification. It is a quick and painless procedure so that if your pet goes missing an animal shelter or a veterinary office can scan the pet and call the microchip company's recovery center where your pet is registered. The recovery center will identify your pet with the information they have on file. These chips are implanted by a vet beneath the surface of the skin between the shoulder blades. It is like a vaccination and painless for the pet while lasting the lifetime of the animal. While many pet owners understand the importance of micro-chipping their pets they often forget to update their contact information when they move residences.  Last week, I had an extraordinary experience that jolted my memory about my pet even having a microchip. 

Lola A white Chihauha who ran several blocks through traffic, jumped into my friends car, plopped into the front seat and refused to get out. I received a frantic call from my panicked friend who said: " I have an unsolicited passenger. It has four legs and huge ears. What do I do with this adorable dog? I have no idea who this dog belongs to and I was not intending to become a dog owner." There was no identification tag on the dog's harness and no visible owner anywhere within sight. My friend's first call was to the Anti-Cruelty Society in Chicago. This shelter will accept all found animals however before they are evaluated for adoption they must be transferred to a Chicago Animal Care and Control Center for a mandatory five-day stray hold where they are quarantined. This option sounded like the last resort especially since it was obvious this was most likely not an intentionally abandoned dog and came from a home where it was well-cared for. We also tried PAWS Chicago but it was after hours.

Lola "aka Dumbo"She was at a loss as to what to do and decided to pick me up. Somehow I became involved in this adventure. After meeting this adorable dog with gigantic ears, I suggested we go to my vet at Family Pet Animal Hospital and perhaps they could assist. On first scan of the chip we got a hit and called the chip's recovery center. We were provided with a California phone number that was disconnected. We were all devastated but thanks to Google we traced the registrants name to an animal shelter that she herself owned in Pasadena, California! The minute I mentioned a Chihuahua with huge ears they responded: " You have Dumbo!" and indicated that they knew her adoptive parent. After a few more calls, including the owners mother we connect Dumbo to a girl in Chicago. By the way the dog refused to answer to th name Dumbo. Dumbo's owner was crying as her beloved puppy had escaped from the dog walker. We reunited Lola (a/k/a Dumbo) with her owner. What a great ending to a stressful day.  As you can see Lola was also exhausted.

Lesson learned: be sure that you microchip your pet. As well keep your personal information and your alternate contact information up-to-date in the chip company's database each time you move. Many people are getting rid of land lines so it is important to be sure that the number associated with the account is also active. With a microchip ID you have the best chance of your pet returning to you after going missing. Your local shelter or veterinary care clinic can microchip your pet (dog or cat). In Chicago there is Blum Animal Hospital, Gold Coast Animal Hospital, Family Pet Animal Hospital and North Avenue Aminal Hospitatl

Lola (A/K/A Dumbo) hopes that her lesson learned will bring your pet home safely in the event they wander off in Chicago. If you are interested in learning about pet friendly condo buildings Contact Us at or call Helaine Cohen at 312-953-0961.






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