Michelle Barbero, Editor-in-Chief |Over the past couple of years, the residents of Mt. Pleasant, NY have been contributing to a Facebook page that was originally created to share community news. Members’ posts consist of a range of topics including new restaurants, deals at local businesses, and listings of items for sale. But, as a member of this group, I have noticed an increase in posts regarding missing or injured pets. Although it is nice to see members of a community coming together to help an animal to safety, the increasing number of posts is concerning.
Some people argue that pet owners need to be more cautious when it comes to making sure animals are kept in secure areas, while others argue that it is not the owner’s fault because pets are crafty and can escape if they want to. I believe that it is a mixture of both because it depends on the situation.
Not every person who asks for help is a neglectful pet owner. For example, my family and I were able to reunite a cat with his family through the Facebook page. Ever since, the cat has been returned safely home. The posts that I want to focus on are those in which people are observing that they see the same animal loose over and over again.
There were several dogs that got reported as missing in the neighborhood multiple times, which serves as evidence that some owners are making repetitive mistakes. According to petfinder.com, “The American Humane Association estimates over 10 million dogs and cats are lost or stolen in the U.S. every year. One in three pets will become lost at some point during their life.”
There are several precautions that all pet owners should take in order to make sure that their fluffy friend does not become a part of this statistic. One tactic that is highly recommended is to microchip your cat or dog. Most collars are made with quick release technology, so if an animal is stuck, their collar won’t keep them trapped. Pet owners should not just rely on a collar alone. Petfinder.com also explains that “no bigger than a grain of rice or more costly than a month’s supply of pet food, a pet microchip and enrollment in a pet recovery database brings lost pets’ home and provides peace of mind that your beloved companion will never wander unknown.” Through this technology, the pets location can be seen by a veterinarian.
Another habit that pet owners should get into is locking away their pets when keeping doors open for extended periods of time. When bringing in groceries or big boxes, you are leaving a huge window of opportunity for your pets to leave undetected. This may seem like common sense, but this is one of the leading causes for pet disappearances.
Pet disappearances are common but there are actions that can be taken to reduce the risk of losing your pet. It is not fair to the animals to force them into survival mode after they become accustomed to living a domestic life.