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My Dog Has A Tattoo-Does It Mean Anything?

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  • My Dog Has A Tattoo-Does It Mean Anything?

    Just wondering if anyone in the COTH brain trust has any info about what a dog tattoo could mean. I have a senior Boxer that I got from a rescue several years ago. All I know about her history is that she was a voluntary surrender to a shelter and she had had puppies before she was given up. No papers or registration, but she's definitely all Boxer.

    It's 6 digits-looks like a letter and 5 numbers on her stomach just before her back legs. Then between her legs there's another couple of letters? a symbol? I haven't looked at it in a while and when I just flipped her over, her winter fuzz covered it too much to make it clear.

    Any ideas? It doesn't make any difference, I'm just curious and figured I'd ask. I know she wasn't a show dog-she's got quite the crooked nose

  • #2
    Not sure what the digits mean but the symbol in that location usually means she's spayed. Some spay scars can be hard to spot so the tattoo makes it obvious and avoids the chance of future unnecessary surgery.

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    • #3
      You could send the numbers to the AKC and they can look those up and see if they come with a match.
      Some people have their dog tattooed with their driver's license number and that would have the state letters.

      My dog has her AKC number tattooed there.

      Is there a microchip also?
      If so, reading that would help, your vet can do that.

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      • #4
        I had a MinPin who came from a breeder who tattooed. It was "Z-12" and had a moon and a star symbol after that...i don't recall what it all stood for though. But it leads me to believe that your girl must have come from a reputable breeder...but who knows?

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        • #5
          http://www.tattoo-a-pet.com/

          you could call them and see if she is listed.

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          • #6
            We tattooed our Gordon with a pet finder service. I think we got to make up a # and then you register it. I can't remember which one we used, though.

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            • #7
              The AKC registration, tattoo and microchip are offered also as a pet finder service.

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              • #8
                My aunt had her SS# tattooed on her dogs belly's. This was before identity theft was such a problem. On the other hand the dogs were both 100+ pound GSD so probably not a high risk of that number being stolen.
                Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)

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                • #9
                  There are quite a few shelters that will tattoo before they send a dog out the door. Usually if they do, there's a symbol or digit that indicates that the dog is altered.

                  You might contact the shelter. That would be my best guess.
                  A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                  Might be a reason, never an excuse...

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                  • #10
                    My cat has a tattoo of the female gender symbol (http://www.clker.com/cliparts/5/3/9/..._01.svg.hi.png) in that location to indicate she is spayed. I am told it's to prevent a shelter from having to open her back up if she's ever found stray or returned there.
                    "Last time I picked your feet, you broke my toe!"

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                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      No microchip when she arrived at the rescue, but they chipped her. She was pulled by the rescue (Middle TN Boxer Rescue-they're fabulous!) from a Knoxville shelter. She came to live with me in 2005 and has been my "best Boxer princess" ever since. I'll have to follow up on some of these leads and see what turns up. It's been a long time so I'm not sure how much of a trail there is. Because she was an owner surrender to the shelter I guess MTBR didn't do too much digging, and I was a sophomore in college when I got her so I didn't give it a second thought then.

                      Here's a far away view from when she was napping one day-such a lady http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fb...type=3&theater

                      And here's the princess these days. You can kind of see the off centered nose. She's intense and serious about food (though not aggressive), her Boxer brother is not, as is evidenced by their facial expressions: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fb...type=3&theater

                      http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fb...type=3&theater

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        My dog has a tattoo as well. She is a pit bull I adopted from a shelter. The shelter does not tattoo their dogs, and I haven't been able to locate a shelter in my region that tattoos dogs in this manner.

                        Her tattoo is the letter "F" followed by 5 letters located on the inside of her thigh. Here is a picture: http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphoto...8_239149_n.jpg

                        I have no idea what it is/means.
                        Here today, gone tomorrow...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Too short for an AKC registration number so it is probably an ID # from a private petfinder database. Definitely check with the tattoo a pet and if not listed there, ask them if they know of other tattoo databases.

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                          • #14
                            I have two cats that I adopted from a research lab that came with tattoos in their ears. That particular lab only tattooed ears but maybe other ones tattoo elsewhere?

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                            • #15
                              Our local shelter used to tattoo with the animal's intake number so if they ever come back they can be identified and have a history. Microchips have taken the place of tattoos, not as readily visible but they scan every animal that comes in. If they find a chip they have not only their database but the national database to search, much better odds of a hit. The tat on your girl's belly is probably from the shelter, a quick call there would probably confirm this.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                The county where I lived until a few years ago offered a lifetime dog license option, where instead of buying a tag each year you paid a one-time fee and had a tattoo put on the inside of the dog's right flank. (Now they also accept microchips.)
                                Flickr

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