Sweet Lab Mix Lucy/Julie was taken in as a stray, and scanned for a microchip at the 16th district. It was a dead-end, and microchip hunters received a message for help reaching the owner.
I tried both numbers on the microchip, with no luck. Both the owner and alternate contact came up to Mississippi. The implant facility from 2013 was a humane society, also in Mississippi. I did some research, and found a number that turned out to be an ex of the alternate contact, and was given a new number to try and reach him.
Luis answered, and told me his ex-wife Shannon, the main contact on the microchip, owned Lucy, and he gave me her current number. Shannon was shocked to hear from me. "Wow, this is crazy, we loved that dog and had given up looking for her. It has been 4 years!" Shannon asked how much it would cost to get her back to Mississippi, and I told her I would look into it if she wanted her home, but I also told her that 'Lucy' looked very well cared for, and that someone is probably looking for her and missing her here in Chicago.
I spoke to Garrido from the 16th district, and let him know what was going on.
Overnight, 'Julie' was posted with us at Lost Dogs Illinois as lost, and matched to this found dog 'Lucy' - she does have a family here that loves and adores her. Garrido also received a call, and the new family provided adoption paperwork from an adoption event in 2015 where they legally adopted her.
How does this happen when she had a registered microchip???
- the phone number for the original owner was no longer current
- the phone number for the alternate contact had a number transposed so was not a working number for this contact
Is this a failure in the system??? Human error happens all the time.
- Owners need to be checking with the microchip company to make sure the information is input correctly.
- Stray hold facilities need to check for microchip information properly on intake, and if unable to reach an owner, www.microchiphelp.com is here to help
- Rescues, shelters, humane societies, adoption events, etc that are adopting out these pets need to check microchip information properly, and if unable to reach an owner, www.microchiphelp.com is here to help
- Adopters need to contact the microchip company right away, and provide paperwork to transfer ownership on the microchip; www.microchiphelp.com is here to help if unable to do so (it would be helpful if rescues/shelters/etc would include changing the microchip information over as part of the adoption process, still having the owner call to verify it is all correct, of course. In this case the microchip will always backtrack to the original humane society where Lucy came from, and not the shelter here in Illinois that adopted her out to Julie's family)
- Microchip companies need to verify that the registered owner isn't looking for this pet, www.microchiphelp.com is here to help with that too!
Thankfully, Lucy's owner is at peace knowing that she has found a home that took her in over 4 years ago, and loves her as much as they did. The children and family did want her back, but do not want to take her away from her new family. We hope this story brings awareness to things that need to be addressed, so that families missing their pets don't wait years to find out what happened to them.
Human error happens all the time; please check your pet's microchip information is correct directly with the chip company, so this doesn't ever happen to you. Lucy could have been reunited with her family in 2015 if they had contacted the microchip company when she went missing, and made sure the phone numbers were correct. She was transported from Mississippi to Illinois, leaving her family behind.
Julie's family is making sure the microchip is updated, and have an ID tag ordered for her collar as well! Thank you Garrido Stray Rescue Foundation for always checking with us on dead-end microchips!
Welcome home Julie! You are loved!
Lost Dogs Illinois