PALS kicks April off with tattoo awareness for pets

The tattoos help identify a pet if it gets lost or goes missing.

Low-income pet owners are getting a little extra something for their pets if they take them in to be spayed or neutered duringthe month of April: a free identification tattoo.

The tattoo is a series of numbers and letters which can help trace the identity of the owner. The number is the sequence numberfor the animal, and the letters identify the clinic, along with the year.

For example, if a pet had the tattoo 1NYE, it would mean it was the first animal to be spayed or neutered at the animal clinic inNakusp in the year 2016. If it were the first animal in 2017 to be spayed or neutered, the tattoo would say 1NYF.

The program has been going on since Protecting Animal Life Society (PALS) was created back in 2003. Pet owners only pay partof the cost. PALS and the Nakusp Veterinary Clinic pay the rest.

“Mostly low income people can’t afford to get their animals spayed (or neutered),” said Linda Kendall, chair and treasurer ofPALS. “So this was kind of a way to take some of the sting out of the cost of spaying or neutering their pets”

Kendall is proof of why having the tattoo on your pet is so important. Her own cat, Apollo, was lost for seven months. When hewas found, it was discovered he had a tattoo in his ear, and was therefore able to be returned to Kendall.

Because the program helps low-income pet owners, prices vary from person to person. Information is confidential, so if a lowincome pet owner has their animal fixed, no one but them will know the cost.

Kendall said this is not a spay or neuter campaign, it’s more of a tattoo awareness or identification awareness campaign.

“If you lose your pet in another city, and they have a tattoo, that tattoo can be traced back to where they live,” she said. “Theonly thing is, it’s really, really important for animal owners when they move, change their address, everything like that, to lettheir vet clinic know so that they can update the information.”