For most people on Kaua‘i, the fear of being lost is not too much of a worry. There are always plenty of friendly folks around to point us in the right direction on this small island. For pets that cannot speak, being lost can mean never finding their way home again.
It’s hard to imagine that your cat or dog would ever roam so far that they wouldn’t find their way back. But it happens every day.
As the island’s official lost-and-found center for all pets, Kaua‘i Humane Society understands the fear and heartbreak of losing an animal companion as well as the joy of reuniting pets with their owners. In the past year, the Humane Society helped nearly 800 lost pets get home.
A few easy and inexpensive preventive measures can offer you peace of mind. A collar with an identification tag is still the first line of defense. However, a microchip, which never falls off, is a permanent form of protection. For $5, Kaua‘i Humane Society can microchip a pet, which is the cost for the chip itself. The Humane Society doesn’t charge a doctor’s visit fee.
All dogs are required to be licensed. For either $2 for a sterilized dog or $6 for unsterilized, this helps to identify you as your dog’s legal owner. It can also help get your dog home should he become lost. Each license is valid for two years and sold at the Kaua‘i Humane Society or the county round building.
Often the most overlooked but most important gift a pet owner can give to their furry family member is to keep their contact information current with the Humane Society. Microchips and ID tags are useless without registering your current contact information.
Most families assume their dog is lost if he or she does not show up for dinner, and they call the Humane Society immediately. Yet cat owners sometimes wait a few days before reporting their feline lost. It is recommended that all owners report missing pets immediately, post signs and canvas their neighborhood, letting as many as possible know of the description of the missing pet. If you travel, it’s important to let your pet sitter know exactly what to do in the event your pet is missing.
For more helpful hints visit kauaihumane.org
• Dr. Becky Rhoades is executive director of the Kaua‘i Humane Society