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Home > General > What and When Is National Pet ID Week? 2024 Update

What and When Is National Pet ID Week? 2024 Update

hand petting an old dog outdoor

Losing a pet or having your pet stolen can be devastating. Around 10 million pets are lost in the U.S.A. every year. Unfortunately, many of them end up in shelters because they are unable to be returned to their owners. Such an experience can be traumatic for the pet parent and the animal. Fortunately, there are various ways that you can keep your pet safe and quickly find them if they get lost or stolen, which is what this week is all about.

National Pet ID Week always starts April 17 and lasts for 7 days. Its intent is to raise awareness about the importance of microchipping pets and using ID tags to ensure that they will quickly be returned home if lost.

Read on to discover how you can help in this mission by engaging in National Pet ID Week, along with information about lost and stolen pets in the world.


The 6 Facts and Statistics About Lost and Stolen Pets

To better understand National Pet ID Week, you should be familiar with the details about lost pets and what happens if your furry friend enters an animal shelter.

  1. Around 10 million cats and dogs in the U.S.A. are stolen or lost every year.
  2. Every year, around 15% of cats and 14% of dogs owned by people living in the U.S.A. get lost at least once during a 5-year period.
  3. Of the pets that get lost in the U.S.A., 7% of dogs and 25% of cats are never reunited with their families.
  4. Out of all the animals that enter shelters in Australia and U.S.A. every year, only 2%–4% of cats are reclaimed by their owners. That percentage is much higher for dogs, typically around 36%–40%, though it can be as high as 90% in some areas.
  5. Only 58.1% of pets that end up in animal shelters are registered in the microchip database registry.
  6. Around 2 million domestic animals in the U.S.A. have become victims of animal theft.

Unfortunately, many pets get lost and stolen worldwide every year, and many don’t get a chance to reunite with their families. Instead, they may eventually end up euthanized, as there’s no way to return them home, and shelters are already crowded.

a thief putting dog in the car
Image Credit: Daisy Daisy, Shutterstock

What Happens With Pets That Get Lost and Stolen?

Losing a pet can be a stressful experience for you and your family, but when things like this happen, it’s essential to remain calm and try to find your beloved animal quickly.

Most lost pets end up in shelters. Unfortunately, many of those animals are eventually euthanized if there’s no way to reunite them with their owners and they don’t get adopted by new families.

As for stolen pets, it all depends on the purpose of the theft. Reasons that people steal animals include the following:

  • Some stolen pets get sold.
  • Some stolen dogs end up as bait dogs for training dogs.
  • Some stolen pets may be used for breeding.
  • Some people steal pets and then wait for a reward to say that they’ve found your animal.
  • Some people even sell lost and stolen animals to veterinary institutes for testing and experimenting.

Since the possibility of your pet getting lost or stolen is high, you are responsible for ensuring that your animal has a way back home.

This is why National Pet ID Week was established.

History Behind National Pet ID Week

National Pet ID Week begins every April 17 and lasts 7 days. There’s no particular data on when this holiday was first founded, but for years, people worldwide have been commemorating this week and spreading the word about it to others.

As numerous pets get lost each year worldwide, National Pet ID Week tries to raise awareness about how essential identification and microchips are to find our furry friends quickly.

The first animal microchip was introduced over 30 years ago, and the technology has progressed significantly. As microchips started gaining popularity, various animal welfare organizations, such as The Kennel Club, and veterinarians contributed to creating the Microchipping Alliance in 2009.

Since then, they have been promoting microchipping and ID collars as great tools to help lost pets find their home if something happens. National Pet ID Week also promotes these tools.

Microchip implant for cat
Image Credit: Ivonne Wierink, Shutterstock

Why Is National Pet ID Week Important?

The goal of this week is to spread awareness about the frequency of pets getting stolen or lost and ending up in shelters and how owners can incorporate identification tags and microchips to bring their furry friends back home safely.

Another mission of National Pet ID Week is to remind pet parents to keep their animal’s tags and microchips updated, as the information should include:

  • Name
  • Contact number
  • Address

If you keep these details up to date, the chances of you finding your pet if something happens to them are much higher than for pets without identification or with inaccurate identification.

How Can You Celebrate National Pet ID Week?

There are numerous ways to celebrate National Pet ID Week. You can contribute to this day by doing one of the following things:

  • Use social media to spread awareness.
  • Use specific tags on social media to support this week: #NationalPetIDWeek and #PetIDWeek.
  • Spread the word about the importance of IDs and microchipping to your friends and family.
  • Add an identification tag to your pet’s collar.
  • Consider microchipping your pet.
  • Keep current photos of your animals.
  • Keep your pet’s tag information and microchip information up to date.
  • Put your phone number, name, and address on all the ID tags of your animals.
  • If traveling, put a temporary ID on your furry friend’s collar.
  • Tag your felines even if you don’t allow them to go outside.
a tabby cat with collar and tag lying on the floor
Image Credit: Sydneymills, Shutterstock

Why Are Microchipping and IDs Crucial for Pets?

IDs are extremely handy because you can add them to all your pet’s collars, so they will always have your information if something happens to them. Microchips are even more reliable, though, as tags can be removed or get lost, broken, or worn down. Microchips are permanent and will help you reunite with your beloved animal without any trouble.

Both tools have numerous positive sides and are excellent for retracing your animal and bringing them home. Here’s a list of all the benefits of using ID tags and microchipping your pet:

  • They help bring your animal back home.
  • IDs are easy to make.
  • Microchips put your contact info in the National Database.
  • Microchips are permanent.
  • Both options are inexpensive.


Final Thoughts

If you’re a pet parent or someone who simply loves animals, try to engage during National Pet ID Week in April and raise awareness about IDs, microchipping, and keeping your pet’s info up to date. Even small efforts can have a big impact and help animals get reunited with their owners.

Featured Image Credit: Ksenia Raykova, Shutterstock

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