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February 01, 2008

Finding lost pets

Here's some from a piece I wrote that'll be in the weekend Lifestyle section.

When a dog or cat escapes from a backyard or just becomes separated from its owner, people want their pet home as soon as possible.

Dan Crandall thinks he has a solution to this everyday trauma — metal ID tags. Sure, ID tags are not a new idea. But Crandall’s Pet*iD business takes them into the 21st century.

“What separates us is that we use a tag, but it is more of a key to open up our service,” Crandall explained recently, while surrounded by computer monitors in his Douglas home office. “It is a pretty simple idea that’s pretty complex on the back-end.”

His system works like this:

• A pet owner buys a stainless steel Pet*iD tag, with an identification number stamped in it along with a toll-free telephone number and a Web site.

• The owner logs onto to create a profile for his pet. That profile can include a photo, medical records, personal messages as well as contact information.

• The owner can update that profile through moves, vacations and other changes.

“We designed this thing so a third-grader could figure it out,” Crandall said.

He has more than 1,000 pets in his system, and his tags are being sold by vendors in 12 states, including Fish & Pets in Rochester and K-M Regional Veterinary Hospital in Kasson.

Pet*iD focuses on the owner, the pet and the person who finds the pet, he said. It eliminates the need for third-party intervention, such as police or a veterinarian.


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Uh, a 3rd grader or maybe a smart 1st grader can figure out how to look at the tag on my dog and call the number, and say "I have your dog, we'll drop him off for you."

Cost? $5 for the tag.
Recovered pet? priceless

When a pet goes missing or even lost it is so important that we proactively react to the situation. Taking steps to protect your pet prior to having this scary and overwhelming incident happen. These steps include always keeping a collar on your pet with I.D Tags. Having your pet micro-chipped and registering them properly. Never leaving them outside unattended, this could lead to their escape as well as giving the opportunity for someone to steal your pet.

Making sure that you’re pet (s) are registered properly is vital to helping them return home. There are many companies that you can register your pet with. One of these companies is called they provide not only a registry but they also have created a proactive lost pet alert that is sent out in up to a fifty mile radius to all Shelters, Rescues, Veterinarians, Municipalities, Groomers, Kennels, Pet Industry, and Members. People find lost pets; if your community is aware that you’re pet is missing this will create a local involvement resulting in more pets being reunited with their families. Prevention and preparation is essential to keeping your family together.

A pet recovery system that gives the pet owner total control to manage their
pet's homeward information anytime from anywhere in the Internet world makes
total sense. If the pet and it's owner get separated, like during a disaster
and are relocated into separate locations, the pet owner would be able to
keep their pet's homeward information up to date as they moved through the
relocation process. By using the Internet, you are not relying on third
parties to route your pet back to you. If my child were lost, I wouldn't
want to have my child routed through a retention center, so why would I want
my pet unnecessarily put through an animal pound, where if I didn't find it
in time, it could be put to sleep in five days. TIME IS EVERY THING. Telling
all the Veterinarians, Groomers, Municipalities, Kennels, that your pet is
gone might make you feel good, but unless they are going to close up shop
and go look for your pet, it is pretty much a waste of time. The best thing
you can do for your pet is put visible identification that can easily be
used by the person that finds your lost friend. I went to the pet id web
site and watched the (Sparky is Gone) video. I looked at the interactive demo
and saw how easy and straightforward this service is. I ordered the service
for $12.95 and it was only $6.00 each for my other dog and cat. For me it
was a easy decision.

yes, it's great if in fact the dog has the collar on. I do not put collars on my dog while they are in my house. Deaths from choking while the tag got caught on the crate, vents or many other things. My dogs are all tattooed and micro-chipped. I can't guarantee, and no one can that whoever finds the dog will do the right thing and notify Pet ID. Maybe they'll take the tag off. Having a permanent ID such as microchip or tattoo is much more reliable.

Without visible identification, your pet doesn’t look any different than a homeless stray. Let’s not get caught up in a hypothetical belief that an identification tag is going to fall off or get caught in a snag of some kind. The fact is, tags are the most reliable form of identification there is, and have been responsible for more pet returns than all other methods combined. Making the tag, a tried and proven system, work even better by bringing it into the digital age only makes sense. I am glad someone has finely done it!

You can learn more about Pet*iD Short Cut Home at

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