I've been thinking a lot about equine ID lately, especially as I get ready to do more trail riding.
I watched an ACTHA video recently that suggested attaching an ID tag to your horse's mane whenever you go trail riding. So today I'm dropping by PetSmart to pick up an ID tag to braid into Misty's mane when I go trail riding. Engraved upon it will be Misty's name, my name, and my phone numbers. I think I'll doubly attach it to her mane with a leather string and an alligator clip.
Attaching ID to the horse's mane is suggested because tack can break and it is possible for a loose horse to rid itself of bridle and saddle. Having ID on both horse and tack increases your chances of getting everything back should you become separated from your horse while trail riding. Heaven forbid this ever happen, but it is good to be prepared.
SaraJane came home last weekend and while she was out for training, her rescue had her microchipped. She came home with a brand new, pretty pink halter with her name written on one side and "Microchipped Horse" written on the other side.
This morning I saw the news report below about Willow, the microchipped cat found after 5 years! This amazing story really presents a good case for microchipping.
Do you microchip your pets or your horses? Do you have identification on your horse when you trail ride?
Colo. cat, missing 5 years, is found on NYC street
By JIM FITZGERALD Associated Press The Associated Press
Wednesday, September 14, 2011 9:21 PM EDT
NEW YORK (AP) — A calico cat named Willow, who disappeared from a home near the Rocky Mountains five years ago, was found Wednesday on a Manhattan street and will soon be returned to a family in which two of the three kids and one of the two dogs may remember her.
How she got to New York, more than 1,600 miles away, and the kind of life she lived in the city are mysteries.
But thanks to a microchip implanted when she was a kitten, Willow will be reunited in Colorado with her owners, who had long ago given up hope.
"To be honest, there are tons of coyotes around here, and owls," said Jamie Squires, of Boulder. "She was just a little thing, five and a half pounds. We put out the `Lost Cat' posters and the Craigslist thing, but we actually thought she'd been eaten by coyotes."
Squires and her husband, Chris, were "shocked and astounded" when they got a call Wednesday from Animal Care & Control, which runs New York City's animal rescue and shelter system.
Willow had been found on East 20th Street by a man who took her to a shelter.
"My husband said, `Don't say anything to the kids yet. We have to make sure,'" Squires said. "But then we saw the picture, and it was Willow. It's been so long."
ACC Executive Director Julie Bank said a scanner found the microchip that led to the Squires family.
"All our pets are microchipped," Squires said. "If I could microchip my kids, I would."
The children are 17, 10 and 3 years old, so the older two remember Willow, Squires said. As for the 3-year-old, "She saw the photo and said, `She's a pretty cat.'"
The Squireses also have a yellow Labrador named Roscoe, who knew Willow, and an English mastiff named Zoe.
"We had another dog back then, too, and I remember that Willow would lie with them as they all waited to be fed," Squires said. "She thought she was a dog."
Squires said Willow escaped in late 2006 or early 2007 when contractors left a door open during a home renovation.
Since then, the family had moved about 10 miles from Broomfield to Boulder, but it kept its address current with the microchip company.
Bank recommended that all pet owners use microchips.
She said Willow, who now weighs 7 pounds, is healthy and well-mannered and probably has not spent her life on the mean streets of Manhattan. But there are no clues about her trip east or anything else in the five years she's been missing.
Squires seemed a bit worried about a possible New York state of mind.
"I don't know what kind of life she's had, so I don't know what her personality will be like," she said. When Willow disappeared, she said, "She was a really cool cat, really sweet."
The ACC and the Squireses were trying to arrange for transportation back to Colorado and health certificates and said it might be two weeks before the reunion. Willow may spend some time with a foster family in New York.
"The kids can't wait to see her," Squires said. "And we still have her little Christmas stocking."
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