I first met Sky on May 10th, 2014. She looked feral, and she had been living in the cemetery for several months, according to the residents of the nearby trailer park. I captured Sky over several days by giving her space, feeding her hotdogs and chicken, and eventually by playing with her. I would run away from her and she would chase me. When she caught up to me, I would fall onto the grass, and she would bump me with her nose. We became friends, through this game, and she eventually let me pet her.
When I put a leash on her, she was okay until I started approaching the car. Then her expression changed, she tensed up, and I could see that I was undoing all the progress I had made. Even though I understood the risks of letting her wander the cemetery alone, I took the leash off of her so that I wouldn’t ruin our new bond of trust. I was very sad to leave her in the cemetery one more night.
The next day, she was excited to see me, and not just because I was carrying a steak sandwich. I also brought my chip scanner, which I should have done in the first place. She had a chip, and we were able to contact the original owner. He explained that she had been left in the care of family, who gave her away without his permission. That third owner must have lost her at some point. He also explained that Sky never liked getting into cars, so it wasn’t a problem with me or my car. He came to the cemetery, and regained Sky’s trust over an hour or so. Then he leashed her up and got her into a car she was familiar with. She didn’t like it, but she knew the routine.
Sky’s chip info was very helpful in her capture. It identified the original owner, and helped us get her to safety with information about her personality. It also established ownership, and allowed us to gain legal ownership when the original owner couldn’t take her. If Sky is ever lost again, and her collar comes off or her GPS battery dies, and Tino can’t track her scent, then she can still get back to me through her microchip if someone scans it.
Of the 600 plus dogs helped by UBS over the last six years, we could have helped them all faster and easier if they all had microchips, properly registered. Several UBS volunteers have chip scanners in their cars, and emergency vets will scan for no charge. This Fourth of July, a UBS volunteer will undoubtedly catch a frightened stray that doesn’t have a chip. We would gladly get your dog back to you immediately if you would just get a microchip and register it.
The chip is item three on your
Loss Prevention Checklist:
- Collar with current ID.
- Good clear pictures.
- Microchip, registered.
- Secure gates, fences, and doors.
- Double leashes for nervous dogs.
- GPS for high risk dogs.
- Create a scent article.
If you do those seven things before the Fourth, your chances of losing your dog would be reduced to almost zero.