HSSM and Gulfport Animal Control Reunite Lost Dog with Owner After Four Years Due to Microchip
March 23, 2012 Â â€“ The Humane Society of South Mississippi (HSSM) and Gulfport Animal Control reunited Peanut, a 6-year-old Rat Terrier/Poodle Mix with his loving owners after he went missing 4 years ago. The reunion would not have been possible had Peanut not had a microchip.
Gulfport Animal Control Officer Dorothy Payne picked up a small, wiry haired dog on Monday, March 19 at a residence on O’Neal Road in Gulfport. When she scanned him, she was surprised to see that he did in fact have a microchip, but the information indicated that his owner lived in Ocean Springs, approximately 30 miles from the place he was found.
“I thought for sure that the microchip information was just out of date that the owner had moved but not changed the information,” said Payne.
Payne called the number linked to the microchip anyway and left a voicemail, never expecting to receive a call a few days later from Peanut’s owner, who had been looking for him for four years and had lost hope.
“I couldn’t believe it when I got the call,” said Donna Nelson of Ocean Springs (who had adopted Peanut from HSSM back in 2006 for her daughter, Danielle Weatherford), “We had been calling the shelter for months and after a while, we just assumed that something had happened to him.”
Peanut was reunited with his owner this afternoon at 2:00pm at the Humane Society of South Mississippi after four years of life on the streets. He ran straight into the arms of his teary-eyed long-lost owner, Danielle Weatherford.
“We are thrilled that Peanut and his family will be reunited after 4 years,” said Tara High, HSSM Executive Director, “Statistics tell us that a microchipped dog is twice as likely to be returned to its owner and a microchipped cat is 20 times more likely, but the power of microchipping pets really hits home when you see a lost dog of four years reunited with his worried family.”
HSSM houses animals picked up by Animal Control Agencies within Harrison County as well as Wiggins, and works closely with these agencies to reunite lost pets with their owners. Most animal control officers carry microchip scanners in the field, allowing those animals with up-to-date microchip information to be reunited with their owners without even entering a shelter. If an animal is not properly identified (with current microchip information and/or an ID tag) and has to enter HSSM, return-to-owner fees can range from $40 to $120, when a microchip and ID tag cost just $7 at HSSM.
HSSM can microchip any pet for free and offers a “Tag â€˜Em South Mississippi” pet identification package (engraved ID tag and microchip) for just $7. No appointment is necessary. Community members need only bring their pet(s) to HSSM from 10am to 6pm Monday through Saturday to have their pet(s) microchipped. Please call 228-863-3354 ext. 124 or 125 for more information on having your pet microchipped.
Pictured: Peanut eagerly awaits the arrival of his long-lost owner.