How pets help reunite separated parents and children

Separated parents and children have been in the news lately, as well as the difficulties experienced attempting to reunite them. Ask a preschooler what their parent’s names are and you’re likely to get “mommy” and “daddy” or the equivalent in their native language. DNA testing is complex, costly and takes time. Reunification should be fast.

I was visiting an emergency manager friend, who believes the bogus narrative that Obama was also separating thousands of kids from their parents, and we talked about reunification. One technique he mentioned was new to me but makes perfect sense.

Ask the children and parents about family pets and record their answers — species, names, color and pattern, behavior, etc. for every pet in the home. Even the youngest child is likely to give a useful response. Even better if pictures are available. Match the parent and child responses. Who else has a Brittany named Brittany and a Chihuahua named Ginger? Just Elionora and me.

This would also be an excellent way to identify potentially abducted children and make sure they are returned to the right parent or guardian.

This isn’t big science or anything really amazing, but is probably useful information that each of us who works with companion animals should store away.