SHAWNEE, Kan., Dec. 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- With millions of homeless pets currently housed at overburdened animal shelters or wandering free on the streets, Bayer HealthCare LLC, Animal Health Division announced today the launch of the "Lost Pet Alert Network," a virtual community of veterinary clinics, pet owners and animal shelters that is designed to share information about lost pets in order to more easily and quickly reunite them with their owners.
The "Lost Pet Alert Network" allows pet owners and pet healthcare providers to register, free of charge, for an interactive online application that empowers pet owners to announce to the community that a pet has been lost. Registrants can develop personalized lost pet posters that can be proactively distributed through local shelters and clinics. Registrants can also send alerts via Facebook, Twitter and directly to other pet owners that have opted into the system.
There is no confirmed number of pets currently homeless or without owners, but some believe the number of stray cats is as high as 70 million. Between 5 and 7 million companion animals are processed at animal shelters each year, resulting in 3 to 4 million (60 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats) euthanized each year.
Bayer will work with Adopt-a-Pet.com to proactively spread the word on the "Lost Pet Alert Network" to the more than 10,000 shelters and rescue groups in its network.
"The mission of Adopt-a-Pet.com is to put pets into homes, while the 'Lost Pet Alert Network' helps to get them back and keep them in homes," said Abbie Moore, executive director of Adopt-a-Pet.com. "This alert system is good for the animal, good for the owner and good for the shelter system."
Fewer than half of lost dogs and only one-fifth of lost cats had any identification (tags or microchip) when they went missing., Finding those missing pets has been extremely difficult as outlined in a recent study of 53 U.S. animal shelters that found 21.9 percent of stray dogs and only 1.8 percent of stray cats were able to be reunited with their owners. Yet, in that same study, nearly 2.5 times more dogs (52.2%) and more than 20 times more cats (38.5%) were reunited with their owner because they had been provided with registered microchips.
Bayer has also distributed to participating veterinary clinics a Linked for Life™ kit, featuring materials that educate and inform pet owners to consider a small and safe implantable microchip, such as Bayer's resQ®. If a lost pet is found, this microchip allows a pet who is not wearing its collar and identification to be scanned and reunited with its owner. In addition to the personalized lost pet brochures and posters, the kit also includes a dog model implanted with a microchip and cause awareness bracelets.
"The sight of a dog or cat wandering collarless can be heartbreaking because there is a significant potential for injury or death to come to that pet," said Cristiano von Simson, DVM, director of veterinary technical services at Bayer. "With Bayer's pet microchipping and the 'Lost Pet Alert Network,' the ability to reunite the lost and wandering pet with its family becomes much more possible."
About Bayer HealthCare
The Bayer Group is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, nutrition and high-tech materials. Bayer HealthCare, a subgroup of Bayer AG with annual sales of EUR 16.913 billion (2010), is one of the world's leading, innovative companies in the healthcare and medical products industry and is based in Leverkusen, Germany. The company combines the global activities of the Animal Health, Consumer Care, Medical Care and Pharmaceuticals divisions. Bayer HealthCare's aim is to discover and manufacture products that will improve human and animal health worldwide.
With sales of EUR 1,120 million (2010), Bayer's Animal Health division is one of the world's leading manufacturers of veterinary drugs. The business manufactures and markets approximately 100 different veterinary drugs and care products for food-supplying animals and companion animals. U.S. Headquarters for Bayer HealthCare LLC, Animal Health Division is located in Shawnee, Kansas. Find more information at www.bayerhealthcare.com.
This release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer Group or subgroup management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer's public reports which are available on the Bayer website at www.bayer.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.
©Bayer (reg'd), the Bayer Cross (reg'd), resQ® and Linked for Life are trademarks of Bayer.
 ASPCA website. "Pet Statistics." http://www.aspca.org/about-us/faq/pet-statistics.aspx (Accessed: September 26, 2011).
 Lord, LK et.al: Search and Identification methods that owners use to find a lost dog. JAVMA 230(2): 211-216, 2007
 Lord LK, et.al: Search and Identification methods that owners use to find a lost cat. JAVMA 230(2): 217-220, 2007
 Lord LK, et.al: Characterization of animals with microchips entering animal shelters. JAVMA Vol. 235, No. 2, July 15, 2009
SOURCE Bayer HealthCare