National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week: Tips and tricks for finding a lost pet

This week is National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week and FOX 9 is celebrating by hosting an 11:45 a.m. segment with the Animal Humane Society each weekday. 

Tuesday, Animal Humane Society Public Relations Manager Mary Tan stopped by to talk about how to find your pet if it goes missing, the return rate of microchipping, and lost cats. 

Tan said 10 million animals went missing in the U.S. last year. Only 23 percent of all animals are reunited with their owners. But, when it comes to cats, that number goes down to 2 percent. 

The Animal Humane Society suggests you microchip your pet, but Tan said microchipping is is useless if you do not update the information. Thousands of animals come through the shelter every year that have a microchip, but when they scan the chip, oftentimes the phone number listed is no longer in service or the address has changed. 

When you adopt an animal or get a microchip from your veterinarian or a shelter, you will get the information for the company. Tan recommends keeping that information in a safe place so when you move, you can call or go online and update your pet’s address. 

The most effective way, however, to bring your missing pet home is to have a collar with an identification tag on it, Tan said.  

When you come across a dog that may be lost, Tan said not to call to them or look them at them directly. You want a dog to come to you, she said, so ignore them. Look at them out of the corner of your eye and if you have food, make a noise and accidentally drop some.

For missing cats, Tan said to think about their behavior at home and what they do when they are scared; that way you know whether you need to look on the ground or up high upstairs. 

Be sure to follow along all of FOX 9's Shelter Appreciation Week at 11:45 a.m. on FOX 9 News at 11 a.m. Also, be sure to check for all the segments. 

Here is the schedule for the rest of the week: