Microchips Help Locate Lost Dogs
Michelle and Jerry Pendley and their daughter, Melissa, were hopeful but realistic.
A week had passed since their pair of year-old Siberian huskies, Boomer and Lady Sooner (Lady for short), went missing from the backyard of the Pendleys' Carthage area home.
They had alerted friends, neighbors and families and even placed several online lost and found advertisements, including one with The Pilot, but the phones remained quiet.
"Every day we hoped the phone would ring," Michelle Pendley said. "Each day we drove everywhere with the windows rolled down, calling their names. But after they had been missing for a week, we didn't have a lot of hope for finding them."
Then, finally, a call came from a Chatham County.
Boomer and Lady turned up at Tysor Veterinary Clinic in Siler City. They were located thanks to a microchip implanted in each dog.
Pendley said she started hyperventilating when she got the phone call.
The chips are about the size of a large grain of rice and contain information that can be accessed by a hand-held scanner. The chip is implanted in dogs, cats, horses and other animals. It is most effective in returning lost pets or helping to determine ownership of animals.
In dogs and cats, the device is often implanted between the animals' shoulder lades near its neck.
Lady has a skin condition that had flared up after several days without medication. The person in possession of both dogs took them to the vet, concerned about Lady's health. A vet technician scanned the dogs for the microchip, and then contacted the Pendleys to verify they had sold the dogs to the people who brought them in for care.
Pendley said she told them that they had not sold the dogs and they were missing.
After the phone call, Pendley and her daughter piled into the car and headed to Siler City. On the way there, they fretted over what they might find.
"The fact that they scanned them for the microchip, that gave us certainty that they were our dogs," Pendley said. "The one thing we didn't know was what condition we'd find them in. So we were very nervous when we went in the clinic."
Pendley said the dogs were in good condition and greeted their owners enthusiastically. Lady is back on her medication and recovering.
"(Microchipping) is the only reason we had a happy ending," Pendley said.
Dr. Elizabeth Lyerly, the dogs' local vet, said microchips are an easy and inexpensive way to help ensure that lost pets have a chance of being found and returned to their rightful owner.
"Any dog, any cat should be microchipped," she said.
Lyerly said it is important to keep the contact information on the chip up-to-date when owners move or change phone numbers.
Most veterinarians, animal control officers and many shelters can check for the device.
"This worked exactly how it's supposed to," Lyerly said. "If it gets one dog back home it works, and in this case, it worked for two dogs."
Contact Tom Embrey at email@example.com.
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