Kelly Harrison, DVM, a shelter veterinarian at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, knows all too well that a microchip is only as good as the information it contains.
Over the years, Dr. Harrison has made hundreds of dead-end phone calls based on out-of-date information taken from microchips embedded in the homeless animals she sees, the university reported. But one recent call to a Tampa, Fla., number had a much different outcome.
The microchip was in an older gray-and-white cat housed at the Levy County animal shelter.
“The first number I called was the chip company, which was my normal process,” Harrison recalled. “But the company had three [owner] numbers listed, which was interesting; someone had gone the extra mile to put in three numbers.”
When Harrison called one of the numbers, someone picked up on the other end.
That someone was John Bogush, who confirmed that the cat, named Sparky, belonged to him, his wife and their daughter.
“Well, we’re missing a gray-and-white cat from five-plus years ago, and I’m positive my wife will want it back,” he said.
Sparky, now 9 years old, and his family were reunited years after the Bogushes thought he may have been killed by a bobcat. Sparky had been an inside-outside pet, UF stated.
The tale should serve as a lesson for veterinarians and pet owners to update contact information with the microchip manufacturer, the university added.
Originally published in the December 2016 issue of Veterinary Practice News. Did you enjoy this article? Then subscribe today!