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Be Prepared

While no one likes to think about his/her pet getting lost, it is a good idea to be prepared if this scenario should occur. Consider creating a pet identification kit with all of your pet’s information. Having this kit prepared in advance could save you time when you are actively searching for your pet. Here is a list of some information to include in your kit: 

  • A full body, color picture of your pet. 
    • It is best to update the photo twice a year to make sure the photo is a close likeness to what your pet currently looks like. Consider having the photos taken on your pet’s birthday or a holiday to help you remember.
  • A written description of what your pet looks like, including breed, coat and tail length, color, size, weight as well as unique and distinguishing features. You should also include if your pet has a microchip, collar, tag or tattoo. 
    • To find out what breed of cat you have, check out PetFinder’s website. Please note that most cats who enter our shelter are American short hair cats (also called domestic short hair cats). 
    • To find out what color your cat is, check out the University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine website. 
    • To find out what breed of dog you have, check out Animal Planet’s website.
  • Your contact details, including the best phone number to reach you.

Keep in mind that pets with identification have a better chance of making it back home. Here are some tips regarding pet identification:

  • Microchips are a great pet identifier. Loudoun County Animal Services and veterinary offices have scanners which can detect microchips in pets. Be sure that the microchip is registered and up-to-date with the microchip company.
    • Also, Loudoun County Animal Services maintains a microchip registry for Loudoun County residents. Please contact us to let us know the microchip number for your cat or dog. If your pet should come into our shelter, we can scan for the chip and match it to the number we have on file for you – which means we get your furry family member back to you faster!
  • Dogs and cats four months of age and older are required to be current on rabies vaccinations. The tag that usually accompanies a vaccine can be used to find owner information.
  • Loudoun County dogs are required to be licensed. The license tag can be used to trace owner information.
  • An identification tag with your name and phone number is a good idea for cats and dogs.
    • Remember that even indoor only cats can get lost!

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