Micro-chip and win
IT IS a tiny thing but can have a big effect on you and your cat.
A micro-chip is the size of a grain of rice and contains a unique identification number which is in a database with the owner's details. Chips can be read by vets and animal charities with a simple hand-held device and have led to countless 'lost' felines being reunited with their owners.
One such case was fluffy tabby Boo
(right), who would not be safe back home without his micro-chip. The six-year-old went missing from his home in Honor Oak, London SE23, leaving his owner Jill very worried. A week later, she contacted us again to say he been found.
'Boo had got lost and ended up in a garden about half-a-mile away.
'He was too scared to move on, so stayed in the garden for a week, living wild. The family in the house called Lewisham Council animal welfare, who came out, scanned him and contacted us. We're delighted, hugely relieved and feel very lucky to have him back. He seems fine, a little skinnier, exhausted but otherwise in good health.'
(left), can also thank a micro-chip for reuniting her with her family. She went missing from her home in the Chislehurst area. Her owners were very worried as she was only 10 months old and it was out of character for her to wander. They did all they could to find her but as the days passed, their hopes faded. Then they had a call from a vet: Bonce had been found after nearly a week in Bickley, more than two miles away.The family which found her took her to a vet who was able to read her micro-chip and track down her owners. She had a couple of minor scratches and was a bit underweight but was generally in good health.
Another example is Max
, a tabby and white boy, who went missing from his home aged four. His owners were worried sick but had no luck in finding him. Their other cat - Max's brother - also had to get used to life without him. Meanwhile, an elderly lady had found a cat in her garden and looked after him. She never took Tootsie, as she called him, to the vet. Then, she had to go into sheltered housing and called us for help. This was three years on from Max last being seen. As is routine, we checked for a micro-chip on 'Tootsie'. There was one which revealed he was really Max, now aged seven. You can imagine the shock and delight of his original owners when we called them!
Another story starts with t
he disappearance of Parker
, a black micro-chipped male, from his home with Amanda and Stephen. They put up posters and posted notes through 250 properties. After 10 days, they had a call from a woman who had found a black cat locked in a shed. They fetched the cat, which was very thin and upset. But a hostile reaction from their other pet suggested it wasn't Parker. In tears, they called us and we confirmed the cat was female and took her into our care.
We named the six-year-old (left) Sally and she went to a fosterer who then adopted her. Two months on, Parker's owners had a call from the PDSA in Thamesmead. He had been handed in but was very underweight and poorly. He had probably been trapped, maybe in a garage, for all the time he was missing. Parker has recovered but would never have got back home without his chip.
When this pretty torty (left) was found lost in a garden, we suspected she might have an owner. But no-one came forward so Mittens, as we called the one-year-old,was put up for adoption. We had looked for a micro-chip, with no luck. But another check six weeks later, this time not just round her neck where they are usually implanted, found one. We missed it because it had moved down the side of her body. A call to her owners followed. They were delighted but had no idea how their cat, real name Pickles, had ended up a mile away. An emotional reunion followed, with tears from all the family - including the men - as they collected her.
We're delighted the message about chipping has reached the former Chancellor George Osborne. His family was reunited with their long-lost cat Freya after three years, thanks to her micro-chip. The tabby went missing when aged only a few months from their home in Notting Hill. Putting up lost posters and searching the streets failed to find her and Mr Osborne, his wife Frances and their two children gave up hope of ever seeing her again. Then, a year after the family had moved to Downing Street for his Cabinet post, Frances got a call to say Freya had been living in a garden a few streets away from their former home. She had been fed by a neighbour, who had not seen the lost posters, and was fit, healthy - and even a little over-weight. A visit to the vet revealed she belonged to the Osbornes and she is now back with them.
All these stories ended happily - thanks to micro-chips. So please do the same for your pet.