The Weekly Growl:
A Canine Commentary
By Stacy Mantle
Read more reviews at www.petsweekly.com
I almost passed by this company’s booth while I was at the SuperZoo show recently. Why? Because sometimes we miss the most obvious of products.
This is one of those products that you have to really look at to understand the brilliant simplicity behind it. And so, after a long discussion with the CEO and Founder, Steve Sapps, as well as a few lengthy reviews of the website and a great deal of research, I have determined that this is a product so worthy of not only mentioning, but of purchasing, that it needs to be discussed now, not later.
1-800-LostDog does several things. First and foremost, it helps you find your lost dog. That’s a given. What you may not know is the way it helps you do this.
This company has a 24-hr, 365-day a year call center. Once you register your dog (and even if you don’t, but we’ll get to that), you have total access to your pet. If your pet is frightened by a thunderstorm one night and you wake up to find him or her missing the next morning, you simply log on or make a phone call. Chances are excellent that your dog will be home before you finish reading the Sunday paper. If you’re out camping, and your dog slips his leash, you simply make a phone call. It may take slightly longer because most people don’t take their cell phones camping, but you will have your dog home upon your arrival. If you have a new puppy who has a nasty habit of escaping everything, simply register him with 1-800-LostDog, and you will have your pup back in your arms before sundown.
What if your dog slips his collar? Not a problem. This unique service allows you to search by state, time lost, and sex of the animal. If you have other information, that helps. But, it’s not necessary. Just log onto the website, fill out a 5 question form with as much information as you have, presto! You have a listing of all dogs that were found in the area during that time period. The computer even figures out how far the dog could have traveled in the amount of time it was missing, but in the event the dog was transported by vehicle or plane, you can expand the search even further.
So – what is the difference between this and microchipping? Well, for those of you who don’t know, microchipping is a crapshoot. (The game, not actually shooting “doo-doo”). There are three major microchipping companies, each with it’s own type of scanner. Scan a dog with the wrong scanner, and you will not obtain a reading. Scan a dog with the correct scanner, but in the wrong area (older microchips “travel” around the body a bit) and you will not obtain a reading. Is it wrong to microchip your pet? Not at all. I completely support it. The microchip companies are becoming very aware of the initial problems of microchipping and have worked very hard to fix the problems. However, relying on one form of pet identification is like relying on one form of protection while driving your car. You’ve got a seat belt and an airbag. If you rely solely on the airbag for protection, you could very well be dead by the time all is said and done. If you rely solely on the seatbelt, you could become very injured from head and neck trauma during an accident. The optimal solution is to use both forms of protection, and that is what we at PetsWeekly recommend as well.
Microchip your pets. Place an identifying collar around their neck so they know what to call the pet, but don’t give out your personal information in the meantime. And most importantly, register your pet with 1-800-LostDog.
This is a fantastic product. It’s peace of mind for the owner and it’s protection for your pet. It’s also very affordable. The tag itself ranges in price depending on the acrylic vs. metal tags, generally between $5 and $10. The registration fee depends on the length of time you choose to enroll. A year generally runs $14.95, and you receive discounts from there. A lifetime membership is only $69.00. Other terms are also available.
There are a host of other benefits to this product that I simply don’t have the room to cover in this column. But explore their site and see for yourself. You can upload pictures, create “lost dog” posters in a matter of seconds, transfer information immediately, all of your information is confidential – no one but the call center knows anything about you other than you lost a dog and you want to find it. Personal information is never released, so there is a level of security here that you won’t find in other products.
In all, I have to highly recommend this product. This company has spent six years thinking about the best ways to protect your pets, and it stems from a love of animals. The owner himself lost a beloved dog when he was a young child, and it has haunted him since. He has now made it his mission to never lose track of a pet again, and in my humble opinion, he has found a method that will make this dream come true …
From the Dogs:
Growls: It’s a bit Orwellian, but if it keeps us from having a microchip implanted under my skin, then we’re all for it! Woof!
Leaps of Joy: Now we can run away and always be sure we’re returned home – without walking back!
From the Humans:
Two opposable thumbs up: The best security in the world is having your pet returned to you! Need we say more?
Drawbacks? Nothing yet… If anything turns up – you’ll be the first to know! We just registered all three of our dogs for lifetime memberships!
About the Author
Stacy Mantle is a freelance writer who currently resides in the southwestern deserts of Arizona with a number of cats, a coyote/wolf hybrid, and a very understanding husband. Her writing has appeared in publications such as The Arabian Horse Times, Today’s AZ Woman, and Pets Illustrated and she currently writes two pet product review columns for www.PetsWeekly.com. Many of her stories and articles have been translated into several languages, and now reach an international audience. Quickly becoming known as "…the Erma Bombeck of animals", her writing has skyrocketed to new heights as she records the stories of those she loves, inspiring the reader to learn why we have all come to love the animals we share our lives with. She is the author of Conquering the Food Chain: Living Amongst Animals (Without Becoming One), which is available in Barnes & Noble bookstores nationwide, as well as online at www.bn.com or www.amazon.com