By Amanda Sullivan
A missing pet can be a stressful time for the owner and family. In the case an animal is lost on Fort Leonard Wood, microchipping or identification tags can play a critical role in bringing your pet home.
Fort Leonard Wood pet policies exist to ensure the safety of the community as well as the animals on the installation. Knowing and following the policies and guidelines can expedite your pet’s safe return in the case it is lost or separated from your family.
According to Capt. Nicholas Anderson, a veterinarian at the Veterinary Treatment Facility, new or incoming pets must be microchipped, up to date on immunizations, and registered with the VTF within 10 days of occupying a home on the installation.
“All privately owned animals residing or utilizing facilities on the installation are required to be registered through the VTF at Fort Leonard Wood. However, they do not have to use our veterinary facility,” Anderson said.
Anderson recommends pets always wear some form of identification. “It is always recommended that privately owned animals, particularly canines, felines and ferrets, wear identification information with owner contact information,” Anderson said.
A rabies tag can serve multiple purposes in this situation, providing both proof of vaccination as well as identification. “Privately owned canines, felines, and ferrets are required to be current on rabies vaccination, and a rabies tag will/should be issued by any veterinarian that vaccinates an animal for rabies, and this can be worn as a form of identification,” Anderson said.
Microchipping is mandatory for pets on post and is a critical tool used in returning a pet to its family in the case it runs astray.
“Privately owned felines and canines must have a microchip implanted to reside on or use facilities on the installation. This microchip must be entered into the Fort Leonard Wood VTF electronic medical record system,” Anderson said.
If you run across a stray animal, the game warden or the Directorate of Emergency Services can assist in returning the animal to its owner using the microchip.
“If a dog is found loose, the game warden or DES will bring the animal to the VTF to assess whether it has a microchip or ID tag allowing for return to the owner,” Anderson said.
For more information or questions about pets on Fort Leonard Wood, contact the Veterinary Treatment Facility, located at 2399 Minnesota Avenue, or call 573.596.0094.