Back in the ’60s Russel Baker wrote this great column about SINA, the Society for Indecency to Naked Animals whose mission was to make dogs, cats, horses, etc dress in public. It was a send up of newly created PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals who were on the warpath in Washington DC at the time.
On a serious note
Naked dogs is a pet peeve of mine, dogs without an ID collar on. I see naked dogs in many Twitter photos and almost every walkabout dog in our neighborhood is naked! Sir Speedy in the mast-head image is naked but he’s not going walkabout.
My dogs always wear their ID collars. You never know when they will get out.
- You’re distracted at the door and they make a break for freedom
- Tradesmen leave gates open
- Gardeners disturb a fence section opening a gap
- Dave forgets to install the X-Pen across the carport opening
- Tree widow-maker smashes fence section.
- Fido learns to scale the chain link
- Fido leaps tall fences in a single bound
Though you mean to be good, there are just too many ways for the fence to develop a break and hounds will go walkabout if the fence is broken or they know how to defeat the fence. Mine are walkabout 1-2 times a year, usually as a result of a fence malfunction.
Old School Collar and Tags
There is a simple bit of technology, the collar and dog tag that will get your dog back quickly if encountered by a neighbor. If your dog has the sense to approach a human for assistance, a speedy return is a phone message or walk away. Without a tag, pup is off to the impound for identification and return complete with fine and service fee for boarding.
I buy my hounds tags from http://www.boomerangtags.com, a US online seller of engraved tags. Their stainless steel tags may be engraved on both sides giving your phone numbers and street address on one side and alternate contact instructions on the other, a family member, rescue, or your vet. These tags will outlast a greyhound so they are best for those who are more or less permanently settled. I’ve been handing mine down from dog to dog.
And no batteries are required. No smart phone app. No Google search. All needed information is in the clear on the tags. The only problem is that collars do slip off and s-hooks may not be tightly crimped.
To get around the s-hook problem, I use a 2.5 cm key ring to attach tags to collars. I’ve never had a collar come back from a walk missing tags since switching to stainless steel key ring attachment.
Why the UK wants all dogs chipped
The UK animal control folk and the rescues (various Dog Trusts) receive naked dogs. Without chipping, there is no way to ID the dog and determine the owner. So the dog goes from the strays process to the unknown owner process. If you are lucky, you call the correct agency and they associate one of the inmates with your pet’s description. With a chip, they look your pet up in the chip-service’s registry and call you — assuming your registry record is up to date. In some cases, the registry also contacts you.
Greyhounds are identified by tattoos while racing. Each dog has a unique designator that identifies the individual dog, usually some combination of birth month and year, litter number, and dog’s place in the tattoo order in the US. In the UK, it appears that each dog is given a unique alphanumeric string.
In questioning US vets, it turns out that they’re not taught about greyhound tattoos. Or they slept through that part of lecture. US vets are unaware that birth year is encoded in the tattoo. They don’t know that the National Greyhound Association (NGA have their act together) is the US racing greyhound registry. AKC is clueless about greyhounds.
If the US vets don’t know about the NGA registry, it is unlikely that US shelter workers will know. Only the many greyhound rescues track hounds by tattoos but there is no central registry of former racers as their is with racers as few pet owners request title transfer from the racing owner. And we all move around so it is unlikely that the local greyhound rescue will have a record of a random hound.