Stop in at a pet supply store and have a look at the magazines on the rack. I did. I took some pictures of what I saw (see below).
Magazine after magazine, both on the cover and on the interior pages show pictures of dogs without collars. This also holds true when you browse the web for animal welfare organizations, large and small; and websites for pet businesses like vet clinics. The picture on the lower right hand corner is a website ad for a vet clinic.
Visible identification is one of the easiest ways to make sure more lost dogs get home safely. An estimated 40 to 60 percent of animals in shelters are lost pets. Getting more lost pets home frees up space for needier animals.
Microchips are great, but a microchipped animal may be found and perceived to be “stray” and unowned by the finder. The dog may be kept or rehomed by the finder and may live his/her entire life without being scanned for a microchip. Veterinarians and shelters in most states are not legally obligated to scan an animal for a microchip (although most shelters do).
People emulate what they see. If they are continually bombarded by images of dogs without collars, that becomes the norm and is perceived to be acceptable.
How can we (the animal welfare organizations, pet businesses, veterinarians and media outlets) help change that perception? By making sure that every picture we use in our advertising, Facebook posts and on our websites depicts a dog wearing a collar with visible identification. (like the one below). Thank you! Together we can make a difference.