I’m a dog person. When I drive, I notice dogs all of the time. When I see an unaccompanied dog, I stop. This morning, while driving my daughter to school, we saw this dog all by itself near a very busy road. I stopped, rolled down my window, and called out ‘Go Home’. The dog walked over to the car, so I got out. She was very friendly, so I opened the back door and said ‘Get in’. She did. I really wish that all stray dogs were this easy to catch!
She was wearing a collar, with no tag. I just happen to have leashes and towels and treats in my car (which is basically an Uber for dogs to go the vet and kids to go to school).
She was extremely happy and enjoyed our drive to school.
We dropped my daughter off and drove directly to the closest place with a microchip reader. If you find a dog, the first step is to check for a tag and/or a microchip. Any shelter or veterinarian’s office will have a microchip reader and scan a dog for you.
Luckily, Wilma had a microchip. Unluckily, it was registered to the Indianapolis Humane Society, and had not been updated in 10 years. Yes, Wilma was rescued and adopted 10 years ago, about 800 miles away from where I found her.
Any dog that enters a shelter or rescue should be microchipped and registered to that shelter or rescue. We left a message for the Indianapolis Humane Society and let them know that Wilma was found stray in New Orleans and left my phone number as a point of contact.
Wilma’s story has a happy ending. I was just parking at home (thinking I have 4 dogs and 4 fosters here already – 9 dogs is a lot, but she’s my responsibility now) when I get a text. Hi Danielle, I think you found my dog.
Yaaaaaay!!! The Indianapolis Humane Society was able to track down Wilma’s adopter. She lives just a few blocks from me and has had this dog for 9 years. She was so worried and very happy to have her sweet girl back home.
I’m over the moon that it worked out, and this sweet girl was reunited with her very worried family. This could have had a different ending. Wilma could have been hit by a car. She could have been taken in by someone who did not check for a microchip and just kept her. Her un-updated chip may have been a dead end.
PLEASE KEEP A TAG WITH YOUR CURRENT CONTACT INFORMATION ON YOUR DOG’S COLLAR. If Wilma had been wearing a tag, I could have taken her home in under 5 minutes.
Tags and collar can fall off, but microchips are permanent. If your dog is not already microchipped, ask your vet to do it. Dog’s get out, it happens. Don’t you want to make it easy for them to get home? If your dog is microchipped, register it to your name and address and UPDATE it whenever your contact information changes.
When one of my foster dogs is adopted, I hand the new owner information about the dog’s microchip and instruct them to register it online. It only take a few minutes of your time.
Don’t have the paperwork for your dog’s chip? No problem, have a veterinarian’s office scan the dog and you can look up the microchip number on the AAHA Universal Pet Microchip Lookup site The site will tell you if and where the chip is registered, when it was updated last, and explain how to reach the registry to check and/or update your contact information. Here is an example:
You can register your dog’s microchip with both the manufacturer’s registry and with the universal (and free) Found Animals registry.
Microchips reunite families, but only if they are updated and accurate. Please check that yours is up to date today.