A couple of weeks ago, a drama unfolded at River’s Edge Veterinary Hospital in Metropolis, IL. Melissa Lee’s dog, Mickey Bear, was lost and then found, mysteriously across the river in Paducah, KY. We aren’t sure how the black Pomeranian got to Paducah. It seems unlikely that he wandered across either the I-24 Bridge or the Brookport Bridge under his own volition, especially since he was unharmed. Foul play seems more explainable. What we do know is that he was taken to an animal shelter, either not scanned or not correctly scanned for a microchip, very quickly adopted, taken to Pirates Reef Pets to be groomed free of charge before being given to the new, adoptive family. The good folks at Pirates Reef had a contact at Project Hope No-Kill Shelter in Metropolis and called there just to see if anyone had reported the little dog missing. Good old human communication reunited Mickey Bear with Melissa but it took technology to prove the two belonged together. Much to Melissa’s astonishment, she was told by the animal shelter that it didn’t matter if she claimed it was her dog or not.
This is where I came into the drama. Since we are Mickey Bear’s doctors, Melissa turned to us for help proving Mickey Bear was hers. He has a current rabies vaccine and tag but since he no was no longer wearing his collar, that did little good. Luckily, Mickey Bear was microchipped and it became a simple matter of scanning him to positively identify him as Melissa’s. Based on the behavior of the animal shelter, there is little doubt in my mind that if it weren’t for the phone call made to Project Hope by Pirates Reef and the fact that Mickey Bear possessed a microchip, he would have been given to a new family.
We are so happy that this story has a happy ending, but it could have easily had a different outcome. It seems likely that someone transported Mickey Bear across the river and that somehow he ended up at an animal shelter. I was surprised to hear that this particular shelter missed Mickey Bear’s microchip when he was scanned. Regardless, microchipping remains the best way to positively prove that your animal is, in fact, yours.
The recent tornado in Brookport left many pets separated from their owners and few had microchips which would have made reunions much quicker and less complicated. The cost of microchipping is much more reasonable than many think. It costs $43 to microchip your pet at River’s Edge Veterinary Hospital and that includes registration in the national database. It can be completed during a normal office visit and causes only a very brief period of discomfort to your pet. Please call us today at 618-524-7500 or 270-448-7500 to schedule to have your furry family members microchipped!