April 6 is Tag Day, which is designed to remind owners that their pet should wear a collar with current identification.
According to the American Humane Assn., only 17 percent of stray dogs and 2 percent of stray cats in shelters are reclaimed by their owners. The majority of dogs and cats who are not wearing identification when they enter shelters have a much smaller chance of being reunited with their owners and are often adopted to new families or tragically euthanized.
Losing a pet is a heartbreaking, humbling ordeal that no pet owner wants to experience. Believe me, I know. Four years ago, my husband and I lost our dog Kara.
About two weeks before she was lost, Kara's tags had fallen off (more accurately, her brother had pulled them off in a playful wrestling match). We were in the process of moving and had not gotten around to getting her new tags. Kara had never run away before, so we simply were not worried.
On a Saturday morning in June, Kara jumped the fence at a friend's house. We searched the neighborhood, put posters at every veterinarian's office in town, visited the shelter twice a day, ran a lost advertisement in the paper for three months and waited until the day we would find her. That day never came.
Four years later, I still wonder what happened to our sweet Kara. I still blame myself for whatever happened to her. If she had been wearing identification, we would most likely have her with us today.
Take the time to put identification on your pet. The Lawrence Humane Society gives free identification tags to the public. On April 6, microchip identification will be available for $20 at Petco, 3115 Iowa, and at the Lawrence Humane Society, 1805 E. 19th St.
For more information about free tags or microchip identification, contact the shelter at 843-6835.
Amy Tramill is an educator at the Lawrence Humane Society. You can reach her