Your dog is the cutest, smartest, best dog in the world. We certainly aren’t disputing that. However, there’s one dog in particular who has earned himself the moniker of “very smart boy,” after he walked into a police station to report himself missing.
Chico, a German Shepherd, walked into the Odessa Police Department on February 11, 2020. While he didn’t tell the officer exactly what he was doing there, they inferred that he had human parents as he was well-cared for and friendly. They also supposed that he’d been separated from his humans and needed help getting home. They were quite astounded that this dog had found its way to their precinct. There are plenty of lost dogs in Texas but it’s unusual for one to “find himself”
Chico was fawned upon by the precinct, who played with him and gave him lots of attention before contacting animal control to check for a microchip. However, as quickly as Chico arrived, he disappeared. The officers attempted to pursue him, but he gave them the slip.
Meanwhile, Chico’s human, Edward Alvarado, was fast asleep at home when a text from his nephew alerted him to Chico’s excursion. He went outside to look and found Chico patiently waiting for him in his front yard. The next day Alvarado contact the police department to let them know that Chico was home safe and sound.
Alvarado and the police officers were impressed that Chico had found his way to the police precinct and back home again. It would seem that Chico somehow knew where to find people to play with him at 3 in the morning and then knew to make his way back home when playtime was done. What a good boy!
Unfortunately, not all lost dogs in Texas end up returning home as easily. According to the ASPCA, one-third of pets will be stolen or lost in their lifetime. Furthermore, of the approximately 2.5 million dogs that find their way into shelters, a mere 26% will be reunited with their owners. This is why it’s so important to make sure your dog wears a sturdy tag and is microchipped.
After a dog goes missing, the first 12 hours are crucial. Almost 90% of lost pets are found within 12 hours when their owners are actively searching for them. Unfortunately, after that, the chances of finding them are reduced significantly. The best way to ensure that your dog is found within 12 hours is to give them proper identification. This means a collar with an ID tag and a microchip.
A collar is the easiest way for a person to know that a dog is “owned.” It indicates that the dog has a family and isn’t a stray. The ID tag further identifies the dog by name as well as provides the contact information of the owners. If your dog is lost and is wearing a collar and an ID tag, then whoever finds them will immediately know they belong to someone and know how to contact you. Make sure to update a dog’s ID tag whenever your contact information changes. Furthermore, be sure to regularly check the wear and tear of your dog’s collar. To prevent a collar from falling off or being torn off, it needs to fit your dog snugly and be in good condition.
A microchip acts as a backup for a collar and ID tag. Unlike collars and tags, a microchip cannot be lost or damaged. Microchips are placed under your dog’s skin by a veterinary professional. When scanned by a vet or shelter, the chip provides the dog’s name and owner’s contact information. This is a foolproof way to ensure that whoever finds your dog knows how to return him to you. Make sure they use a dog carrier if possible. As with the ID tag, you’ll need to keep the contact information up-to-date by contacting the vet who inserted the microchip.