Another Microchip Save

Uniting Dog with Human
By Shirley Zindler, December 2012

Our department recently received a report asking us to check on the welfare of two dogs.  When I arrived I found the dogs in an open side yard. The weather was cold and wet and the dogs were living in filth. There were feces and garbage everywhere, no food, no water and no adequate shelter. The stench of their conditions hit me from 15 feet away and one of the dogs was seriously underweight. He balanced like a circus elephant on top of his overturned water bowl in an effort to escape the mess beneath him.

I had another officer with me as the neighborhood had a high rate of crime and gang activity and I banged on the door of the house as he kept watch. No one responded so I notified my supervisor and prepared to seize the dogs.

While my partner continued to monitor the area, I quickly took a bunch of photos of the dogs, their conditions, empty bowls etc. I made sure to get lots of shots of the ribs, hips and spine on the skinny dog.

Next, I posted a notice of impound, leashed the dogs and hurried them to my truck. Both had sweet temperaments and followed me eagerly with tails wagging. I lifted them onto blankets in the vehicle, getting multiple wet kisses in the process, and closed and locked the doors.

It was a relief to leave the neighborhood and even more of a relief to get the dogs out of there. Several shady characters lingered next to a graffiti-covered wall, watching us as we drove away.

Back at the shelter I was surprised to see that one of the dogs was neutered and had a microchip. The chip traced to woman living in Reno, five hours away, who was shocked when she learned that her dog was in our shelter. She told me that a vengeful ex-boyfriend had taken the dog nearly a year and half previously!

The former owner is making arrangements to make the long drive to claim her dog and the person responsible for their conditions is facing animal cruelty charges. Another miraculous case of a dog going home that never would have been returned to the rightful owner without a microchip.

I’ve seen a hundred of them but I’d love to hear of any microchip miracles our readers have had.


(See What a Good Dog for another miracle.)

Shirley Zindler is an animal control officer in Northern California, and has personally fostered and rehomed more than 300 dogs. She has competed in obedience, agility, conformation and lure coursing, and has done pet therapy. Zindler just wrote a book The Secret Lives of Dog Catchers, about her experiences and contributes to Bark’s blog on a regular basis.

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