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Together Tag: New way to protect your pet!
September 1, 2009 - Amy Jo Hanna-Eckenrode
I’ve had an annoying medical condition since I was 21, that requires I take a special medication because my body can’t retain water (long story: pituitary tumor -> suppresses hormone that allows body to retain water, blah blah blah). Or, as I tell people, ‘if you want to get back at me just leave me out in the middle of the desert and I will dehydrate and shrivel up within a day’ (unlike the 3 days a ‘normal’ human can go without water). When I traveled overseas for vacation, my mom begged me to get a Medic Alert bracelet, I guess in the event I was hit by a double-decker bus and couldn’t advise personnel of this condition.
While it felt somewhat awkward to sport the bracelet, it did provide a sense of comfort in that it contained an inscribed phone number to a call center that could provide all the medical information about my condition that I had previously placed on record.
I always thought this would be a great idea for pets/pet owners as well. A centralized call center to report lost pets and identify found ones.
Thanks to the creators of Dogster.com and Catster.com (web sites I visit frequently) there is now just such a service.
Together Tag allows you to register your pet’s information online in one place. You are sent a tag to place on your pet’s collar. Not only does it contain your contact number (which most ID tags offer) but it also provides a web address and special pet ID number (assigned to your pet).
If your pet is lost, you log in to the website and post the information. A notice is immediately sent to 5,000 shelters nationwide, to other Together Tag members in your area and members of Dogster/Catster. There is a also a tool to quickly and easily create and print “lost pet” posters.
Anyone who finds your pet can log in to find out additional contact information (in the event you are not home or able to answer the number provided on the tag) or special care instructions for your pet (medical conditions, care requirements, etc.)
You pay a one time enrollment fee of $24.95 (for each pet) and you can access and change your information as often as you like. They also offer a family discount for multiple pets.
Of the over 10 million pets that are reported lost every year, only 1 out of 5 dogs and a staggering 1 out of 50 cats finds their way home, according to Together Tag.
Micro-chipping and tattooing are effective, but all ID systems have disadvantages. The only one I can see with Together Tag is if the tag itself somehow falls off of the collar. Other than that, I am glad to see a company start this program. It provides an additional level of comfort to owners and it’s a great way to ensure your pet is protected even if you do have a micro-chip or tattoo.
Another awesome feature is that Dogster and Catster will donate $5 to the American Red Cross for every identification tag sold. Donations support American Red Cross preparedness programs.
Especially during hurricane season, as I recall the thousands of pets stranded and left behind during Katrina, I am thankful to see this new service/product on the market. For pet owners, having peace of mind that their pet is protected and safe is worth its weight in gold. I know it is for me.