Friday, January 1, 2021

Milliron Monday: Tattoos 1 4 2021

Photos and story from The Athens Messenger. Circa 1980s. Used with Permission.
PAINLESS - Veterinarian Pete Smith marks a tattoo on a dog named Tully at the Milliron Clinic. Tattoo numbers help owners identify their dogs if they are lost or stolen, and also make it difficult for dognappers to sell animals they steal, according to David Sturbois.

Abbott "Pete" Smith, D.V.M.
June 16, 1938 - February 22, 2010

Welcome to Milliron Monday where every Monday we celebrate the legacy of Pete Smith, D.V.M., and  Milliron: Abbott “Pete” Smith, D.V.M. The Biography (Monday Creek Publishing 2017). A graduate of Colorado State University and a well-known veterinarian in southeast Ohio, Dr. Smith continues to motivate and inspire. 

Many years ago, there was thought to be a ring of dog thieves in our area where specific breeds were dognapped and sold for profit. Dr. Smith tattooed many animals for identification purposes. Here's the story written by Robert Ekey for The Athens Messenger...

Owner Urges Tattoos for Dogs

    Dave Sturbois had his valuable cattle dogs tattooed. He's hoping that he won't have another dog stolen or if one is, it will be returned. 
    Sturbois had a cattle dog turn up missing last December - and he thinks it was stolen.
    While looking for the missing dog, valued at more than $500, Sturbois said he found evidence of a possible dog theft ring in Athens County. He said many valuable dogs, both mixed breeds and purebreds, have been reported missing on Saturdays.
    Just in the area of his Long Run Road home, Sturbois said he discovered that four other dogs had turned up missing the same day as his - all within a mile and a half of his home.
    One of the dogs was a trained German shepherd. Another was an Irish setter.
    "There's no reasonable explanation for that many dogs missing on one day. They were all good dogs without any history of running away or not coming home," he said.
    Sturbois said that during his search for his cattle dog, he learned from a half dozen other people that their dogs had also turned up missing on Saturdays.
    Sturbois placed an ad in the lost and found column for three weeks hoping to locate his dog, but had no luck. In addition, he has been calling all numbers of ads where dogs are reported missing, trying to put together a pattern in case there is a theft ring working in the area.
    If there is a ring, there are only so many places the dogs can be sold, Sturbois said. One is to laboratories which conduct medical tests on adult dogs. Other sources are kennels or pet stores which may attempt to sell the dogs.
    "It is unrealistic to assume that someone is selling these dogs to individuals," Sturbois said.
    Having dogs tattooed will make the dogs worthless to pet shops or most individuals and will increase the chances of having the dog returned to the owner.
    Laboratories which operate on the animals will report the tattooed dog to the National Dog Registry, which will locate the owner and ensure the dog's return.
    The National Dog Registry is the most organized group for reporting stolen dogs, Sturbois said, and therefore is the best place to register the tattoo number.
    Sturbois had his social security number tattooed on the dog's inner right leg. The number will then be filed with the National Dog Registry for a $25 fee per number. Once the fee is paid for a number an unlimited number of dogs can be registered without additional cost.
    Although there is no solid evidence of a dog theft ring working in the area, just tattooing a dog's inner leg can be relieving to the dog owner, knowing that the chances of a missing dog's return is improved.
    Also Sturbois and Jody Smith, Amesville, have agreed to conduct a survey of missing dogs to supplement the information Sturbio has already collected, in an effort to get more information about a possible dog theft ring. 

GETTING READY - Mathew Sturbois, son of Mr. and Mrs. David Sturbios
of Long Run Road, comforts his dog, Luke, before the animal is tattooed.
David Sturbois is urging owners have identification numbers tattooed on
their pets to thwart what could be a dog stealing ring operating in the county.

Don't forget to get your dog license.

Have a great week ahead!


Through captivating, powerful, and emotional anecdotes, we celebrate the life of Dr. Abbott P. Smith. His biography takes the reader from smiles to laughter to empathy and tears. Dr. Smith gave us compelling lessons learned from animals; the role animals play in the human condition, the joy of loving an animal, and the awe of their spirituality. A tender and profound look into the life of a skilled veterinarian.

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