About 'Tag Me Home'
Our Tag Me Home program focuses on "Target Zip Codes" which are specific areas identified by our animal control agencies, where the majority of dogs surrendered to the shelter (or picked up by field officers) are coming from.
The purpose of an ID tag is to help field officers and good samaritans bring these pets straight home, thereby avoiding the shelter all together and helping to decrease the number of dogs that enter the shelter system.
Why Not Microchips?
Why not microchips? Microchips will absolutely provide an additional level of identification protection for your pets — but they are not a substitute for a collar and ID tags. Microchips are detected with a handheld device that is usually found at animal shelters and veterinary clinics. However, it's not the most effective way for a good citizen to return a found pet.
We recommend that dogs and cats wear a collar and ID tag at all times, even if they never go outdoors. An ID tag will increase your chances of being reunited with your pet, should they get loose from your yard or home.
Just The Facts!
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) conducted research on this issue. Their “ID Me” research looked at the use of ID tags on dogs and cats and how willing and able people are to return lost animals to their owners. The study investigated these questions:
How do pet owners use ID tags and how do they rank their importance?
Do owners retain personalized ID tags that have been placed on their pets?
Did any tagged animals in the study become lost, and did the tags help return them home?
Does tagging large numbers of dogs and cats in a community affect stray intake for local animal control?
The study collected baseline survey information from pet owners who brought their pets to either a spay/neuter clinic or one of four participating veterinary clinics. These pet owners received an ID Me brochure. Staff at the clinic also placed an ID tag personalized with the owner's name and contact information directly on the animal, providing a collar if needed.
In Phase II, a large-scale intervention, funded by PetSmart Charities, was implemented to collar and tag owned cats who were brought to spay/neuter clinics in five communities.
In the baseline survey from Oklahoma City, 80% of pet owners said that a pet ID tag was "extremely important" or "very important." Yet only 33% of surveyed pet owners reported that their pet wears an ID tag all the time. In the follow-up survey (after providing personalized ID tags), 73% reported that their pet continued to wear the ID tag.
That is, once the tag was on, most owners were keeping it on their pet. Of newly adopted pets, 89% had the ID tag on at the six week follow-up call. In the six-week period after initial tagging, 10 pets were recovered because of their personalized tag. Phase I results suggest that the general public understands the importance of ID tagging and simply needs easy access to a personalized tag and a collar.
The results also show that when the tags are on the pet, they mostly remain on the animal.
Since a pet ID tag is visible to the finder, it is the pet’s first line of defense and is usually the quickest way the pet makes it back home.