Admittedly this is only a half-thought at 2 a.m. but one possibility would be to start requiring microchipping of ANY "companion" animal large enough to be chipped. This way, should something be "thrown away" or stolen or simply escape and is caught the animal stands a better chance of being traced to it's owner. It may also help in abandonment/cruelty cases.... I recently read an article on a Cincinatti stray dog that was reunited with it's owner in Florida after being stolen 6 years ago. The only way that this happened was that the dog was chipped before it was stolen.