Use these steps to protect your pet from being lost during your move.
- Keep a collar with an ID tag on your pet at all times with your current phone number on it.
- Microchip your pets, especially if they are good at slipping their collars. It’s important to keep your contact information up to date so the chip can reconnect your pet to you. All animal shelters and vet clinics can scan for microchips.
- Have a current license on your dog. It is the ID given to an animal by a city or county and can be another way your dog can be restored to you.
- Keep cats indoors; it’s much safer for them. Cats are domestic animals and don’t need to be outside where there are coyotes and owls, among other predators. Give cats a post to scratch on, a window to perch in and plenty of toys, and they will love the great indoors.
Depending on where you live, your pet may face new outside dangers as human activity increasingly encroaches on wildlife habitat. Wildlife that your pet may encounter include beavers, coyotes, gophers, raccoons, rodents, skunks, even deer, bears and moose. The best way to avoid wildlife around your home is to limit any behavior that might attract it. Do not leave animal kibble unattended outdoors; raccoons, coyotes and even squirrels that eat pet and people food can lose their fear of humans and may become aggressive. Keep trash in containers with lids that are animal-resistant. In addition to larger animals, smaller pests such as fleas, ticks and spiders can be extremely dangerous as they carry disease to pets and humans, Keep your dog on a short leash in wooded areas, and check for ticks and bites on your animal when you get home. If a tick is found, use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp it as close to the skin as possible and pull it straight out, gently; if the mouthparts break off and remain in the skin, use the tweezers to remove them as well. After removing the tick, use antiseptic on the bite site and wash your hands thoroughly.
Visit the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/living/nuisance for a full list of wildlife dangers and how to avoid them, and the Washington State Department of Health’s web page describing how to avoid pests, such as ticks and spiders, at www.doh.wa.gov/CommunityandEnvironment/Pests.
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW)
Puget Sound Region
16018 Mill Creek Blvd.
Mill Creek, WA 98012
The WDFW manages and ensures the long-term well-being of fish and wildlife, especially as humans continue to encroach on wildlife habitats. The website offers tips about living with many of the species across the state. For information about wildlife in the Puget Sound region specifically, visit http://wdfw.wa.gov/about/regions/region4.
Whidbey Animals’ Improvement Foundation
Ellery Cramer Family
Animal Shelter – Main Facility
60 Rhododendron Park Road
Coupeville, WA 98239
Whidbey Animals’ Improvement Foundation (WAIF) is a nonprofit organization on Whidbey Island that provides coupons for reduced-cost spaying and neutering, food and financial assistance for low-income pet owners, foster care, veterinary services, low-cost adoptions and more. For more information on WAIF’s animal shelters and cat adoption centers, visit its website.
Veterinary services in Island County are plentiful; see the Advertiser Directory in this guide to connect with local providers. Another source for connecting with a veterinarian is the Washington State Veterinary Medical Association website, www.wsvma.org.