A RABIES TAG COULD BE THE KEY TO FINDING YOUR LOST PET
Here is this week's guest column by Lafayette Animal Aid Volunteer Anne Johnson
Little did you know that the simple act of getting your dog or cat vaccinated for rabies could actually one day save your pet! Confused? Don't be! When your dog or cat gets their yearly rabies vaccination, you receive a rabies certificate and tag as proof of that vaccination. That tag should immediately be placed on your pet's collar (most vets will attach it on the collar before leaving the clinic, which is smart). Your rabies tag has now become not only proof of being vaccinated against rabies but has also become an ID tag in case your pet becomes lost/found!
The tag has the year the pet was vaccinated, the name of who maintains records of the rabies vaccinations for the parish/county, the phone number to that facility, and a tag number. IT'S SO IMPORTANT TO KEEP THE RABIES TAG ON THE COLLAR AT ALL TIMES, ALONG WITH A REGULAR ID TAG!! If you have lost your pet, you can call the number on the rabies certificate to report it lost, give a general description, and your info. They'll have a copy of the record of your certificate. If you have found a pet, call the phone number on the tag, give the ID number, and a description. The personnel will be able to quickly look up their copy of the certificate, which vet office vaccinated the pet, and give you info to contact the owner. Sometimes, you may have to contact the vet clinic and have them contact the owner.
If you're like me and the inevitable happens and your pet loses the tag, don't worry! You can get a duplicate tag and certificate at your vet's for a small fee. It's worth it for peace of mind.
There are several other ways to ID your pet, such as a microchip or wearing an ID tag or ID collar but that rabies tag could be the lifesaver!