Things to do when your dog goes missing

Here is some advice from local professionals if your pet is missing.

Katie Perkins of the Seneca County Humane Society, said it is important to notify the Humane Society when a dog is lost or found. The staff records a description and other information for each dog in a book and dates each entry.

Perkins said a license is important in getting a dog back to its owners.

“If someone finds a dog with a license, it makes our job 10 times easier because we can just put the number into the auditor’s site. We have a special log-in that lets us see the phone number and address, so we can contact the owner that way,” Perkins said.

Pet owners can purchase a microchip through the Humane Society for $30.

When someone reports a lost pet, the Humane Society tells the person to place an ad in the newspaper, contact veterinarians in the area and make posters.

“We hang one up here,” Perkins said. “If they have found a pet, we do have a microchip scanner, so we can scan for that.”

Marge Voorhees, practice manager at Edenwood Veterinary Center, explained how a microchip is implanted.

The standard placement is on the dog’s back, between the shoulder blades, at the base of the neck. That spot has limited accessibility for scratching and chewing, and the person scanning always knows where to locate the chip.

“It’s about the size of a grain of rice. Once it’s implanted, it stays right there. It does not migrate around,” Voorhees said.

The chip is a tiny radio wave transmitter with a pet identification number and other information encoded on it.

Made of material that does not react to the animal’s flesh, the chip can be inserted at the time of spaying or neutering, or it can be done during an office call without sedation. A larger needle is used to insert the chip into the tissue.

The cost at Edenwood is $45,

which includes registration with the company.

Whenever the dog has a veterinary visit, the doctor can scan the chip to be sure it is still transmitting the ID number. Some vets suggest putting a tag on the dog’s collar indicating the dog has a microchip and the name of the manufacturer.

It is up to the owner to update the information.

“If you change your phone number or move, you have to contact them and change your information. There’s no charge for that with the company that we use, but you have to remember to do that,” Voorhees said.

Whenever a stray dog is brought into the Edenwood office, the animal is checked for a chip.

Staff can notify the company to report the chip number. Then, the company looks up the owner’s information and contacts the person directly.

Edenwood has a universal scanner which can read chips from any company.

A microchip might have brought Clarice (above story) back to her owner if she had been taken to a place with a scanner. If a dog loses its collar and license, the chip remains in place.

Voorhees said Barb Siegle’s dog may have become too frightened to approach anyone.

“I’ve gone in different stores and seen the posters up. She is really trying to get the word out in case somebody sees her. It’s been awhile now. That gets discouraging, but she’s got to be somewhere,” she said. “Either somebody’s taking care of her and not even realizing it or they don’t want to take her home because they like her so well.”

Kelly Marker, Seneca County Dog Warden, said microchips can be helpful for dogs who have lost their collars or tags. Her office has a universal scanner, but she said she believes a license is the best way to find a lost dog.

“The most important thing is having your license on your dog because it’s a visual. You can see that. You can’t see a microchip,” she said. “The police departments don’t have access to a microchip scanner and the general public doesn’t have access to microchip scanners. The best thing is that license. Anybody can look that up.”

If a dog is lost, the owner can call the dog warden or stop at the office to file a report. It would include a description, breed, colors and more.

Marker said a photograph of the dog is helpful.

If a dog loses its license, the owner can purchase a replacement at the auditor’s office at a cost of $5.

“With that license on a dog, that can be looked up by the general public, police departments or we can look it up. If you have a smartphone, the website works. You can actually look it up on your phone,” Marker said. “A lot of people don’t know that. As long as they have that tag number, they can go to the auditor’s site,”

Marker also tells people to contact surrounding counties, especially residents of Fostoria, which is in part of three counties.

Because the dog wardens are separate entities from the Humane Society, people who find or lose a dog should file reports at both places and keep calling both agencies.

Marker said Siegle has been doing that.

“She has done a great job of getting it out there that Clarice is missing,” Marker said. “Some people give up, but they never let us know.”