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Monday, March 26, 2012

Rivers flies home: Arkansas family reunited with pet

Rivers, the dog found running-at-large in Calgary last week will return home to Arkansas, U.S.A. after being gone for four years thanks to having a microchip with up-to-date contact information.

Rivers’ owners were overjoyed to hear from The City of Calgary Animal & Bylaw Services that their pet had been found and promptly made arrangements to fly him home.  

“It’s unlikely that this reunion would be occurring if Rivers’ owner hadn’t microchipped him,” said Bill Bruce, director of Animal & Bylaw Services. “This is why we require all cats and dogs within Calgary to be licensed at three months of age and educate pet owners about the importance of permanent pet identification such as a legible tattoo or readable microchip.”

The City of Calgary Animal & Bylaw Services is renowned for their successful licensing program in which over 90 per cent of dogs and 55 per cent of cats residing in Calgary are licensed. As a result of licensing, lost pets and owners can be reunited - resulting in Calgary having the highest return-to-owner and lowest cat and dog euthanization rates in North America.

Licensing and permanent identification help solve one of the largest problems facing shelters and rescue organizations today - having owned cats and dogs in facilities but not having the information needed to connect pets with their owners.

In Calgary, dogs are required to wear their licence tag when off their owners’ property. Calgary cats need to be licensed but if they have a readable microchip or legible tattoo, are not required to wear their tag.

Sometimes pets that are microchipped are still unable to be reunited with their owners because their contact information was not updated with their microchip provider. In Calgary, pet owners are given the opportunity to update all their contact information when they renew their pet’s licence.

“A pet’s licence is his ticket home,” said Bruce. “Licensing and permanent identification, as in Rivers’ situation, provide peace of mind for pet owners because they know that if their pet goes missing, these tools will help Animal & Bylaw Services reunite them with their pet. A licence tag is also a visible indicator that a lost pet has an owner.”

For more information on licensing or permanent identification, visit and google pet licence or call 3-1-1.

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