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True Stories of Lost and Found Pets

By: Rebecca O'Connor

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Sometimes things that are totally out of our control happen and send our pets running to the streets. Doesn't it just break you heart when you see posters of adorable dog and cat faces lost, their owners begging for their safe return? Sometimes these lost pets go on amazing journeys before they make it home.

California Here I Come

Zeus, a nine-month old Labrador and Rottweiler mix, took a 13,000 mile journey before making it home after escaping from his yard in Casa Grande, Arizona. A couple driving from North Carolina to San Francisco spotted him on a highway about an hour south of Phoenix. They picked him up and when the shelter they took him to explained that he would be euthanized in three days if his owners weren't found, decided to take him with them. After all, California is supposed to be dog heaven.

Zeus was dropped off in a San Francisco shelter where they used Zeus' dog license to track down his owners, the Smiths. No one is sure why the shelter in Arizona didn't check the tags, but at least the story has a happy ending. Seven animal control agencies pooled resources to get Zeus a ride to San Diego where his owners could more conveniently pick him up. It was definitely a happy reunion.

A Vacation to France

Dogs aren't the only ones that like to go on a little journey. Emily, a curious cat from Wisconsin found a way to become a world traveler. Emily found her way into a paper company shipping container which traveled by truck to Chicago, by boat to Belgium, and then found its way to a laminating company in France. Workers at the company her meowing and found on thirsty hungry kitty in the crate. The also found her rabies tag on her collar and traced her owners.

Continental Airlines gave Emily a one-way ticket home complete with escort. Emily's family was thrilled to have her back and vowed to keep their wayward feline locked inside.

Many Happy Returns

According to research done by Dr. Linda Lord, an Ohio State University veterinarian, if you lose your dog you have a 71% chance of finding him, but only 53% of lost cats are reunited with their owners. However, Dr. Lord suggests that there are ways that you can increase your chances of a happy reunion.

  • License your pet and make sure they are wearing the tag
  • Place ID tags on your pet's collar
  • Microchip your pet
  • Act immediately. Don't wait to see if your pet will return before making phone calls and hanging notices.

    If you post a reward, watch out for scams. If someone calls and says they have your dog, ask questions that only someone with your dog in their possession could answer. If they ask you to wire reward money to them before returning your dog, refuse. Don't get taken advantage of while you are in this state of emotional vulnerability. Do what you can to insure you pet's safe return and you are more likely to have a happy ending to your story.


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