Pets Reunited with Their Families
A missing pet is a scary reality that even the most responsible pet owner may have to face. The most well-cared for pooches and kitties get loose, slipping out of collars, digging under fences and jumping over walled-in yardsand many are returned simply because they were wearing proper identification. The following stories of happy reunions show how crucial proper tags and microchipping are.
Submitted by Laura Best
It was two years ago that the neighboring city started a tradition of setting off fireworks to kick off the Christmas season. I found out the hard way. I have every other “fireworks” holiday marked on my calendar because my border collie mix, Suzy, is frightened of the sounds. But I didn't know that I would have to keep her in on this evening.
By the time I realized what the noise was, it was too late. I couldn't find Suzy anywhere and I knew that she would probably be gone all night. I was alone, just myself and my nearly one-year-old daughter. We drove around in the darkness through the neighboring streets as I called Suzy's name out the window, but it was very cold and I knew I couldn't keep my daughter out all night.
When we returned home, my stomach was in a knot, but I tried to settle down so that my daughter could get some sleep. Just before I laid her down in her bed, the phone rang.
"Hello, do you own a dog named Suzy?" the voice at the other end asked.
As it turns out, Suzy had run about 1½ miles east through woods, neighbors’ yards and even across a fairly busy roadway and intersection. The man who found her said that he had let his dog out to go to the bathroom and when he let him back inside, Suzy had followed. I guess the cold night actually helped in her quick recovery!
The wonderful man found Suzy's ID tag around her neck and called us immediately.
Submitted by Judie Stein
The morning after our rescued English mastiff, Matilda Mae, came to live with us, we let her play in our fenced-in three acres with our two standard poodles and our other rescue runt. Being curious and very strong, Mattie pushed open the locked iron gates and left our property for a stroll around the neighborhood.
Almost immediately my husband realized that she was gone. After calling me, he got into his car and began searching the neighborhood.
Meanwhile, as I called my husband to tell him that I was coming home to help search, I got a message on our answering machine. It was our friend at the mastiff rescue, telling us that the local shelter had called and had Mattie Mae. She had been brought in a short time before and because she had a microchip, the shelter was able to contact the mastiff rescue immediately.
When they brought our wayward adoptee out of her short but scary
incarceration, she rushed to my husband's side and has nevernot for the
last six yearsgone near or forced open those gates again.
Submitted by Debbie Samuel
My boxer Penny was adopted from the Harris County animal shelter. Unfortunately, she is a jumper and took off over the fence one day. I searched and searched, but couldn’t find her. I printed up flyers and posted them on every telephone pole within a half mile of my house.
One day I received a call from a Harris County officer asking me if I’d lost a boxer. He’d been giving someone a ticket and left his car door open. When he came back to his car, he got the biggest surprisePenny was sitting in the front seat just waiting. After getting to know her wonderful personality, he wanted to keep her. He had taken her home with him and kept her until he saw one of my flyers and called me. Once I got her home again, I immediately had a collar made with her name and our phone number on it.
Submitted by Leslie Ring
When my little Sammy was only six months old, she wandered off from our
fenced-in backyard. I was devastated and spent hours searching for her, knocking on neighbors’ doors and even looking in some of their backyards. I put up lost cat posters and phoned the local shelters, but found nothing.
After about seven days, I received a call from a very kind man, telling me that
he had found my cat's collar by his fence. This gave me a new location to searchabout a mile from our house. After a few days of searching and knocking on doors, I decided to look at night. I had read that lost cats will sleep during the day and search for food at night. I went out at midnight, looking in bushes and anywhere else that a kitty might hide. Just when I was about to give up, I drove down one more street and in the beam of my headlights, I saw my little orange-and-white kitten run under a car.
I got out, opened the container of tuna I'd brought and called her name. I heard a little meow and then she came running, meowing her head off! She ran right up to me and I grabbed her, fearing that she might bolt again. I sat her in the car and gave her the tuna, which she gobbled up faster than a hungry dog.
She meowed all the way home and slept on top of me the whole night. It’s been two years since that scary 10 days and let me tell you, she’s got her collar back on.
Submitted by Erik Strout
Last October, a contractor working in our yard left the gate open and our golden retriever, Frodo, wandered off. I searched until midnight to no avail and then developed a good size email campaign. I wrote on our flyer, “I know you have more important things to do, but please tell that to my four-year-old daughter!”
Thank goodness Frodo was microchipped! I took advantage of HomeAgaina microchip pet recovery service. Within an hour, a missing pet alert was emailed to all the veterinary practices, animal shelters and volunteer pet rescuers in the HomeAgain network within a 25-mile radius. About eight hours later, I received a call from HomeAgain with a couple on the line who had my dog. They had found him that Friday evening, taken him camping for the weekend and then called when a fellow camper gave them a copy of a missing pet listing posted on Craigslist.
This was after I’d handed out about 150 flyers, walked, hiked and drove roughly 102 miles and slept two hours a night for three days.
Frodo is now safe and reportedly had a great time playing with the kids at the campground!
Bailey, Will & Grace
Submitted by Christina Mays
I have three silly pit bulls and love them dearly. The younger two, Will and Grace, are brother and sister and they love to wrestle. While my husband and I were at work one day, they were wrestling by the back gate and hit it just right so that the latch flipped open. The two little knuckleheads took off running, while Bailey, my oldest, went back into the house. My neighbor saw them and called animal control. Grace was caught, but Will, who is microchipped, was too fast.
We bought the strongest lock for the fence that we could find, plastered posters for miles around our house and put up lost dog posts on every website we could think of. I called all of the chip registration people to see if Will had been picked up, but no luck. We were walking and driving the neighborhood for hours questioning people.
I’d break into tears at work because my silly little boy was gone. After work I’d walk miles calling his name and jingling his leash, but to no avail. By Wednesday I was so miserable without him that I went home early so I could search. There he was, waiting for me on my front porch! He’d found his way home!
Submitted by Kelly Bliss
Last summer, my six-year-old black Lab Bailey was playing as I worked out in my backyard. All of a sudden I looked up and Bailey was nowhere to be foundand he wasn’t wearing a tag. My huge mistake! I called for him. I had neighbors looking for him. I drove down all the streets in my neighborhood until 10:00 P.M., shining a spotlight on houses and backyards. One night I thought I heard Bailey's cry by a house and then no sound at all.
As I continued to look for him the following day, I met two ladies who were taking a walk on my street and asked them if they’d seen a black Lab. They replied that yes, they had seen him the day before. He had followed them down two blocks, where he began playing with a young boy in a yard. They described the house and I drove by one that looked like itthis turned out to be the same house where I thought I had heard Bailey’s cry.
I knocked on the door. A man answered and as I asked him about my dog, Bailey came running through the front screen door and into my arms. It was a beautiful reunion with tears and hugs. I learned a very valuable lesson that day. Always keep a collar and an updated tag on your beloved companion.
Submitted by Nancy Wait and Bill Dollard
Our beloved, now deceased golden retriever Maggie had somehow disappeared out of our fenced backyard. We were totally unaware of this until we received a telephone call from some neighbors we didn't even know. They got our name and phone number off of Maggie's ID tag. Sure enough, we looked in the backyard and she wasn't there! Since Maggie was, like all golden retrievers, a people-lover, she’d run toward the sounds our neighbors were making in their yard. They were good enough to immediately call us and tell us they had a joyful little visitor!
Submitted by David & Carol Jackson
In February 2008, as my husband was getting ready to take our new 13-month-old cattle dog Presha for a walk, she got spooked. We had adopted her from a shelter and she had some behavioral issues. As my husband tried to calm her down, she pulled out of her collar and ran off. We posted flyers and registered online at all of the lost dog sites we could find. It was heartbreakingshe’d only been with us for a few months.
Two weeks to the date that she ran away, we got a call from the Castaic Animal Shelter that our beloved Presha had been found through her microchip. If she had not been microchipped, we might never have gotten her back. It was a long two weeks, but she has never tried to run away again.
Submitted by Ellen Zigmont
May 14, 2005, was one of the worst days of my life! Yeager, my Jack Russell terrier, went missing. I thought he was in our fenced-in backyard, calmly relaxing in the sun, but when I called his name, he didn’t answer. It seems he had dug under the fence and gotten out. I panicked, got into the car and drove all over the neighborhood, calling his name out the window over and over again with no luck.
The next day, I put up flyers in veterinary offices and stores and posted his description on lost dog sites on the Internet. I called every veterinary office within 10 miles of my home, put an ad in the lost-and-found section of several newspapers and even hired an animal psychic to help me. Six months went by, during which I received a few phones calls, but nothing came of them.
A year and a half later, in November 2006, a woman from the Henry Co. Humane Society where we adopted Yeager called me. She said, “Ellen, you're not going to believe this. I have Yeager!”
It seems that his ID tag had fallen off when he went under the fence. A woman found him and took him home with her until August 2006, when she decided that she didn’t want him anymore and brought him to a vet’s office to be euthanized. Yeager was only five years old at the time.
The veterinarian refused to put him to sleep and the vet technician found a family to adopt him. During a storm, his newly adopted family put Yeager on the porchlittle did they know how afraid he is of thunder. At the first thunderclap, he jumped through a screen window, ran off and finally came to rest at a house a few streets away. The lady who lived there brought him to her vet’s office.
The vet discovered that Yeager had a microchip that contained the telephone number and address of the humane society. One of the staffers, who knew that Yeager had been missing for a year and a half, went to the vet’s office and almost fainted when she saw that it was him! We all agreed that it was a miracle.
Submitted by Shirley Coe
Romeo, my daughter’s dog, wandered away last summer. We searched for him every day and were beginning to fear we’d never see him again. We had posted his photo on lost dog websites and had been combing them every day, when my son-in-law came across a found-dog listing on Craigslist with a description of a dog that matched Romeo. Romeo’s collar had a silver bone charm on it and that’s how we identified him for sure. We had him back exactly two weeks to the hour that he got out. Thanks to his collar, we were given a chance in a million to bring him again.
Submitted by Becky McClintock
While tags and a chip did not help our yellow Lab, Bailey, to be found, her story convinced us to get them taken care of right away. She ran out of our Dallas apartment when a maintenance man walked in. Though she had her collar on that day, it didn’t have tags and she wasn’t microchipped. After searching the neighborhood, we hung flyers and then contacted every shelter we could, and posted her photo on Petfinder and Craigslist. We knew that searching for Bailey in such a populated area was like looking for a needle in a haystack.
Four days later, when I decided we’d never see her again, an officer called and said he had with him a dog who matched Bailey’s description, both collar and markings. The officer said that Bailey had been sighted a few times, but wouldn't go to anyone. Finally, she got so tired that she just climbed up into the officer's truck. She was pretty banged up, had bleeding paws and a bad limp, but she was found. Needless to say, she now has a chip and so do our other pets.