Once Lost, But Now Found

 |  Jul 30th 2009  |   5 Contributions


Earlier this morning I posted about an Australian dog who was lost for 9 years and just reunited with her family thanks to a microchip which provided owner information.

I just came across another story reinforcing how important it is to make sure your dog has proper ID, tags and a microchip.

Haley Cyr, a professional dog trainer for more than four years and the Manager of Training at the Animal Defense League, shares an incident that happened to her just a few days ago.

I want to talk about something that happened to me two days ago. It is a long story but it has a moral, I promise! As I opened my front door Sunday evening, there he was; a small tricolor beagle whose name I would later learn was Rocco. He was blindly running through my apartment complex, obviously panicked and in pain. After a few minutes of coaxing and using my shoelace as a leash, he was in my arms. By his panting and the appearance of his gums, I thought he had heat stoke. When I got him inside, I realized that he also had blood on his face and back. Horrible things ran through my mind! Had he been hit by a car? Had he been in a dog fight?

Once he was cooled down and safe, I decided to drive around my neighborhood and look for lost Beagle signs, hoping to find an owner with tears and a leash looking for their dog. Rocco hopped right into my car; he was obviously somebody's baby. He was neutered (hurray!), but had no collar. I prayed that he had been micro-chipped. We drove around my neighborhood with no luck. I decided to take him to the emergency vet to be checked, and hopefully to find his parents through (still praying) his microchip.

As I drove out of my neighborhood hood, I heard sirens. Nothing I could have imagined could have been worse then what had really happened to him. My heart dropped into my stomach. A little Mazda had apparently crashed into a parked 18-wheeler at full speed. The entire roof of the car had been ripped off. The police had the road completely blocked off. I suddenly realized what had happened to Rocco. I parked my car and fought the crowd to ask an officer if a beagle had been involved in the accident. His face lit up and he told me how Rocco had been in the car during the accident. Rocco's Mom had been driving the Mazda, and his Aunt was in the passenger seat. Both women had been seriously injured and were rushed to the hospital in an ambulance. Rocco was fine. It wasn't his blood that I had found on him.

Officer Lee was the person who helped me. He was relieved that I had the dog and collected my information, promising to let the ladies know Rocco was safe and how they could get him back home. He kept his promise. I took Rocco to the emergency vet, keeping my fingers crossed he had a microchip. He wasn't. He's a very lucky dog to wind up in front of my door. it must have been fate.

I received a phone call the next morning. His family was ecstatic to know he was okay. Rocco's mom was in intensive care, and is still as I write this; but I'm told she is improving. They were able to tell her that night that Rocco was safe. Thank you Officer Lee! Rocco's Aunt came and picked him up within thirty minutes of calling. She had also been injured but had been released early that morning. You've never seen such a happy Beagle! All the staff at the Animal Defense League cried when Rocco went home. We see so many happy endings, but this one really hit home.

I have learned a lot from this experience, and I hope you can take something away from Rocco's story. Most importantly, microchip ALL of your animals and keep the information current. You can never foresee your animal getting lost. (Rocco actually has a collar he "always" wears, he just happened to not to be wearing in that day.) Please make sure your dog ALWAYS wears a collar with current tags. If Rocco had been micro-chipped, I could have called the emergency contact person and got him home much sooner.

Contain your dogs in the car, using either a crate or a doggy seat belt. We are not sure if Rocco was ejected during the accident. Luckily Rocco wasn't seriously injured, but he is the exception, rather then the rule. The officers and EMTs tried to catch him but he was too freaked out. They had to concentrate on saving his Mom and Aunt. If he had been in a seat belt, those officers could have helped get him somewhere safe. He is very fortunate not to have been hit by a car while he was blindly running through the neighborhood.

Rocco's story gave me and my coworkers a huge reality check. I actually have to hold back tears as I write this. I have to admit, my dog Poppins usually sits in my front seat without a seat belt. My puppies are always in the back inside crates, but Poppins isn't because she's so well-behaved. Needless to say, she'll NEVER ride in my car again unless she's in the back seat wearing her seat belt. I hope PetSmart sells out of doggy seat belts after this story's debut. Also, I hope everyone runs out and buys tags and gets their dogs micro-chipped right away.

Cyr's story is long, but I posted in its entirety because the information is so important it's imperative to read the full article. All our dogs are microchipped and have Together Tags, the most reliable dog and cat ID and recovery service from the trusted creators of Dogster and Catster.

No, I do not receive any money from this product, I really think the tags are great. The bottom line, if there is a product or service out there that can put the odds in your favor to help ensure the safe return of a beloved pet isn't it worth buying?

* Tinker Bell wearing her Together Tag

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