JOPLIN, MO.--- As the Four States continue to prepare for storm season, the Joplin Humane Society is reminding residents not to forget about their pets. The number one thing people can do to protect their pet before a storm is to get their animals micro chipped. If your pet gets lost, specifically during a storm, whoever finds them can take them to a vet or shelter and use the micro chip to get them back to you. Pet owner, Leann Colvard, says she knows exactly what if feels like to lose a pet.
"I have lost a dog before, unfortunately. I was younger and he was not micro-chipped, so he was gone," said Leann Colvard, Owner.
After that experience, she now makes sure all of her pets are micro chipped, all six of them. Maddie, the newest member of her pack, just got hers today.
"I think it's wonderful. If they were to ever get away, get out of the yard, anything, anywhere they would be taken to a vet, to a shelter like the humane society here. They would scan the micro chip and contact us," said Colvard.
To micro chip your pet, a veterinarian injects a tiny ID tag, using a needle, into the shoulder region of your cat or dog. If your animal ends up at a shelter, that chip can be scanned and connected to the owner's personal information.
"It's a little device that allows veterinarians or shelters to scan and it pulls up a number that's linked with a dog and it's owner. And it allows a shelter or a vet to find the owner of a lost dog," said Rob Smith, Kennel Manager.
Kennel Manager, Rob Smith, says after the May 2011 tornado, the Joplin Humane Society ended up with more than 800 pets who had no micro-chips. Ultimately meaning a lot of people were not united with their pets.
"So if they had all been micro chipped, it would have been much easier to reunite them with their families," said Smith.
Smith says this technology should be at the top of a pet owner's list when preparing for storm season. Getting your pet micro chipped costs as little as $25, but could help keep you and your furry friend together.
"You know there's always a chance of a tornado coming through, and then an animal getting separated from its family. If that animal is micro chipped before storm season starts, and then it does get lost because of a storm, we can reunite it with a family real quickly if its micro chipped," said Smith.
Smith also says that pets don't just run from storms. In the summertime, they could also run away because of fireworks.