If you don’t believe in microchipping and other pet tracking technology, you right have a change of heart after finishing this informational piece. We recently learned about a group of unscrupulous do and cat snatches who set up an illegal cat and dognapping operation that sent beloved pets to a dog and cat meat factory in China. The South China Morning Post shared the chilling true story about a pet owner who tracked his beloved cat to a meat factory. The owner’s kitten went missing. The Shanghai resident had his cat equipped with a tracking device that allowed him to pinpoint the location of the cat through GPS technology.
The thieves had transported the kitten 1,500 kilometers to the Guandong market. The owner called authorities with the information and reported the incident. Authorities investigated the incident at the Livestock market that opened in September of 2020. It was licensed for livestock, ducks, and chickens. Animal activists showed up at the facility the following day and found approximately 300 cats and dogs in five cages. Government officials followed the same day. All of the cats were taken to a care facility sponsored by the government. The animals were forced to remain in filthy living conditions in cages.
Stolen animals being turned into food
This horrific incident is just the tip of the iceberg. Stolen dogs and cats are taken to facilities where they are slaughtered and sold for human consumption s meat. Animal cruelty activists are calling for a ban on such practices. There is currently nothing in the legislature to prohibit the slaughter of dogs and cats, but theft, on the other hand, is a different story.
How to keep your pets safe from thieves
The story we just read is disturbing on many levels. Had the kitten’s owner not equipped him with a GPS tracking system, he would have never learned of the kitten’s fate. Fortunately, the animals at that particular facility were liberated from their cages and taken to a safe pace, with those identified returned to their owners and the rest held in a protective shelter. There are steps that you can take to keep your beloved pet safe from thieves. While things are a little different in the USA than they are in China, dogs and cats are still stolen and used for other purposes. Some are sold for monetary gain on the dark market, and others are treated cruelly. The Chinese dog and cat meat market tale present a good case for microchipping your pets. This makes them easier to identify if they wander off and end up in a rescue shelter. The problem with microchipping is that it requires a scanner used while the dog or cat is physically present. In the case of a missing pet, it does the owner little good unless a good Samaritan scans the pet and makes a phone call.
Animal GPS trackers
The Shanghai pet owner who tracked his cat to a meat slaughter factory builds a good case for using GPS trackers to monitor your pet’s whereabouts. According to Paw Tracker, there is a huge assortment of GPS pet trackers to choose from. They’re made by a variety of different brands for both dogs and cats. There are two main types of GPS tracking devices including Cellular or GSM, and Radio trackers. This cutting-edge technology tracks your pet in real-time and lets you follow their movements if they’re on the go. Some are simple devices while others feature more built-in features such as alerts to let you know if your pet crosses a geofence line. GPS trackers require cellular data towers with enough power to serve the area. You can track your pet with your smartphone as long as you’re actively subscribed to a service. Radio Trackers use an older type of technology. They’re devices that do not require the users to pay a subscription or monthly phone bill as with the cellular-based GPS trackers. These types are often used with hunting dogs to keep tabs on them when they’re in the field.
Pros and cons of a GPS tracker
According to Tractive, there are pros and cons associated with GPS trackers. The benefits include global coverage in most cases, precise pinpoint location ability, unlimited range, and the ability to find the pet with a single smartphone. On the downside, sometimes there is interference with GPS when the device is indoors. The second disadvantage is that it depends on a mobile signal so it costs money to keep a smartphone paid. Another potential problem is that the device attaches to the collar of the pet, or comes in the form of a collar. If your cat or dog slips the collar, it may lead you to a dead-end after tracking him for miles. The disadvantages, however, in most cases do not outweigh the benefits. This is one of the best-known ways to monitor the whereabouts of your pet when he gets out of your eyesight.
The horrific story about Shanghai, China’s man who had his kitten stolen and taken to a meat factory gives us as pet lovers motivation to find a way to track our beloved furry friends. Although microchipping is a good way to recover pets that are taken to animal shelters, it doesn’t give you a way to monitor his whereabouts or track him to the precise area he’s located. I’m a fan of the GPS method for tracking lost pets. Most thieves would remove the tracker immediately, but pets that wander off can easily be found wherever they go. We owe it to our pets to do the very best that we can to keep them safe from harm and find them when we’re lost. It’s a dangerous world out there for helpless and vulnerable animals.