The next time you shrug off the thought of putting a collar on your beloved pet, think again. Better yet, consider having a microchip implant, a permanent form of identification, in case the collar does slip off during a long journey.
Black and white Charlie, a one-year-old cat living in Cornwall, England, disappeared while being let outside for the first time in February. Charlie and her brother Bruster were going through house training, and were finally able to freely tour the neighborhood in February. However, when only Bruster returned, 18-year-old owner Natasha Johns lost all hope that she'd ever see Charlie again.
For months, Johns posted fliers about Charlie's disappearance, hoping someone would find her and bring her home safely. When this didn't happen, Johns' worry grew. "I started to fear the worst," said Johns, to the UK's Daily Mail. "With her being such a small young cat, who had been in the wild for so long on her own, I had resigned myself to never seeing her again."
To Johns' surprise, she received a glorious call in May, after Charlie had been missing for four months. Charlie was found in Holyhead and taken to a veterinary hospital, where the staff noticed a contact number on Charlie's collar.
After Charlie's 400-mile journey--possibly hitching a ride on a lorry--from Cornwall to north Wales, she was starved, traumatized, and in a lot of pain. Mike Pugh, inspector at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) initially thought Charlie was feral, due to her condition, but then found the contact number on Charlie's collar.
If Charlie hadn't been wearing a collar, she would have never made it back home to her loving family. She may have never even been picked up and brought to the veterinarian hospital.
Besides wearing a collar with at least one contact number attached, microchip implants are also a very wise choice. Animals have a much better chance of being found if they wander from home, and that makes for one happy owner, and one ecstatic pet.