Dear Sun Spots: Why is it that cats do not have to have rabies tags like dogs? This way the police or animal control officer would know the cat was not a stray, and it would help with returning them to their owners when lost? Other cities have the tag and a vet number, which also helps. What does Maine have in place? – No Name, No Town.

Answer:
Sun Spots corresponded with the Maine Veterinary Medical Association and spoke with Anne Del Borgo, who says you have an excellent question here and offered even more information for you.

She notes that the chief reason veterinarians do not routinely give out rabies tags to cats is because cats are not required to be licensed in the state of Maine. Dogs are and must be up-to-date on rabies to be issued a license (or get a license renewed). The rabies tag number is used by the town office to validate that the dog is, in fact, current on its rabies vaccine.

Del Borgo says it is a good idea for cats to have some form of identification, especially if they go outside. A cat owner can always request that a rabies tag be issued to their cat by their veterinarian when the cat receives a rabies vaccine, but other forms of ID are available that may be more efficient. A pet ID tag with the owner’s name, address and phone number is one option. They can be ordered through the mail or via the Internet, or some stores have machines that will make the tag for you on the spot.

An even better form of identification is a microchip. About as big as a pencil lead, a microchip can be injected under your cat’s skin. The company that makes the chip enters your information in their computer database, and if your cat is picked up, a scan will provide the shelter with your cat’s name and who it belongs to. Most animal shelters in the state now have universal scanners to look for chips in stray animals. The big advantage of the microchip is that it doesn’t require a collar, so it can’t be lost or get hung up on a branch, endangering your cat. Your veterinarian can provide more information about microchipping.

Hopefully, this will help answer your question. Many thanks to Anne for her response. In addition, you might also be interested in checking out the Web site at www.mainevma.org.

Dear Sun Spots: I was wondering who the young country singers at the 2006 Great Falls Balloon festival were? How would one be able to get in contact with the singers and to buy CDs as well as write to them?

Where would be the best place to buy a cast-iron pot to cook over campfires? Thanks. Have a good day. – No Name, No Town.


Answer: Sun Spots believes you are referring to a brother-sister act, Melissa Lynn and Matt Thomas, as well as Christopher Frost. Lynn’s Web site, www.melissalynn.com, which also links to Thomas,’ should be able to assist you in contacting the singers as well as purchasing their CDs.

Thanks to Lolalee Dillingham of Down East Country Music Association, Sun Spots had the pleasure of chatting with Frost before he dashed out for a basketball practice. (Yes, he’s a regular schoolboy.) Frost says he’s got a CD in the works, but it won’t be released until sometime next year. A Web site is also being designed. Frost was happy to provide a contact address for any fan mail – he admits to loving being the center of attention – at 211 Tandberg Trail, Windham, ME 04062. He will be performing in a concert in early January, and Sun Spots would encourage you and other Frost fans to keep an eye on the column for the date and time. Frost has promised to contact the column with the details. In the meantime, Sun Spots has learned that Frost has been singing for about three years, since the fifth grade, and has just turned 14 years old.

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