A Montreal family was devastated when their adopted black Labrador retriever, Pollux, ran away from home last spring.

Microchip Brings Dog Home from BC to Montreal

Pollux the dog somehow traveled from Montreal, Quebec to Kamloops, BC – a journey of almost 4,245 kilometres or 2,637 miles

I never cease to be amazed at some of the journeys our pets can make, all on their own. I also never cease to be amazed at how effective microchips can be at bringing back our lost or stolen pets

This story definitely falls into the ‘amazing’ category.

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Another Stolen French Bulldog Comes Home!

There have been a rash of stories lately about stolen French Bulldogs. With increased popularity for our breed has come increased awareness of just how much they are worth. Now, thieves don’t just take your television – they take your Frenchie, too.

In Austin, sisters Leah and Cayah Haney had been searching for their French Bulldog, Banner, since he was stolen on November 22cnd. According to Austin police, the thieves took “laptop computers, flat screen televisions and Banner.”

On December 2cnd, an east Austin woman called to say that she’d found Banner roaming around Austin’s East Riverside area.

More about Banner’s theft and return here.

In Edmonton, Princess the Bulldog puppy was stolen in much the same way as Banner.

Thieves broke into the apartment of Damien Boisvert and his girlfriend on November 12th, and along with electronics and other valuables, they also stole Princess. For twelve days there was no word of her whereabouts, until the owner of a local Lacrosse team volunteered to put up a $10,000 reward for her return.

On November 24th, someone called the tip hotline that team owner Bruce Urban had set up, and announced that they’d found Princess wandering loose in a park. They were instructed to bring Princess to the local shelter, where she was identified as the missing puppy.

More about Princess’ return here, along with video.

Having a dog stolen is every pet owner’s ultimate nightmare, as I know firsthand.

Thames Valley Police has a good list of tips to help prevent dog theft, and to help in getting your lost or stolen dog back home as quickly as possible.

How to prevent dog theft

* Make sure that your dog wears a collar and identification (ID) tag when in a public place. Include your surname, telephone number, address and full postcode – if there’s room put ‘microchipped’ on the tag if your dog has a chip.
* Microchip your dog so that it is permanently identifiable should the collar and ID tag be removed.
* Do not leave your dog tied up outside a shop or unattended in a car.
* Keep all documentation relating to your dog in a safe place, and include clear photos of front and side profiles of your dog. Also make a note of any unusual markings.
* Make sure that your dog does not go out of your sight on walks. Vary your walk times and routes.
* Be cautious when you invite people into your home to view dogs or puppies for sale. Restrict the number of visitors and their access, and always have someone with you.
* Make sure that your dog is neutered as this will reduce the chances of theft for breeding.
* Make sure that your fencing is adequate and check it regularly for wear and tear. Keep your dog in view when it goes out into the garden.

Microchips Bring Two More Dogs Home

This past Christmas eve in Bentonville, Arkansas, Police Sgt. Robert Burkhart found a hound mix mutt lying still on the side of a busy road. The dog had been hit by a car, and showed little signs of life. With no collar or tags, her fate was measured in hours. Police in Bentonville have injured dogs euthanized, if they have no identification.

But emergency veterinarian Darlene Wier has a policy –  “No dogs .. die on Christmas Eve.”

Using a scanner, she found the stray dog’s ticket home buried in the skin under her neck – a tiny microchip, no larger than a grain of rice. The chip contained the name, address and contact information of the stray – and also her name, Coaster. Coaster had been adopted by her owner, Stephanie Comstock, from a local animal shelter two years earlier. Coaster had bolted while being walked along Comstock’s other dogs, and less than hour after she went missing, she lay at the side of the road, struck down by a car. Comstock and her children searched frantically, but found no sign of the missing dog until the phone call came in telling her that Coaster was safe – if not completely sound – and waiting to come home.

Comstock is grateful her dog is implanted with a microchip.

“This is the first dog we had that had a chip in it. Before, when you lost a dog, it was just gone. So to have the chip in there and to be able to get them back is just great,” Comstock said.

The microchip planted between Coaster’s shoulders meant that Comstock could tell her kids that their dog was alive and well.

Half a country away, up in Canada, another dog was heading home to its owner – almost seven years after it went missing.

On December 25th, 2001, Don French of Jutenheim Rottweilers was the proud breeder of a gorgeous litter of Rotties. He chose his own ‘Christmas gift’ from this litter, a pick male that he hoped to eventually show in conformation and obedience. Five months later, while Don was out grocery shopping, someone stole Don’s puppy out of his fenced back yard. Months of searching proved fruitless – the dog was no where to be found. Don reported the theft to the police and the Canadian Kennel Club, but as the years passed, he gave up hope of ever getting the pup back home.

Flash forward to December 22, 2008. Don French, now living in Burlington and working and no longer breeding Rottweilers, received a call from Hamilton Animal Control. A stray Rottweiler had been found roaming the streets, and Don was listed on the dog’s microchip as a contact person. Don is now a professional dog trainer – his first thought was that one of his training clients had put his contact info on their dog’s chip registration form. When Don asked who the owner of the stray Rottweiler was, Animal Control replied “According to the CKC, you’re the owner and breeder”. Puzzled and operating on a long shot, Don looked up the registration information for the boy he’d help whelp, almost exactly seven years earlier.

The chip numbers matched – the stray dog languishing in a run at Animal Control was Don’s stolen Rottie.

Hamilton Animal Control has no idea where the dog came from, or where he’s been. The dog looks to be in good shape – well fed and well cared for – so Don speculates that perhaps the puppy was sold to a family who had no idea that they were actually harboring stolen goods. Either way, no one but Don ever turned up at Animal Control to claim him, so on Boxing Day Don picked up and brought him home. Don says that Santo – Jotunheims Kaga vom Santo – might be seven years old, but that he’s still acting like a puppy. Don is considering putting him in the conformation ring, just for fun.

With all the news stories of pets reunited with owners thanks to microchips, it’s only puzzling that more owners at willing to have their pets implanted. Doing so could possibly be the best Christmas gift you ever give – to yourself, or to your pet.

“The main benefit of having the microchip is so (veterinarians) can easily locate the owners if a dog or cat is found. With the chips, the dogs can be found and returned home,” Sugar Creek office manager Melissa Freeman said.

“Collars can get loose and fall off or if the dog is stolen, the collar can easily be taken off – but the microchip cannot be removed,” Freeman said.

“(Coaster) is a lucky dog,” Wier said, noting that all pet owners should have their dogs and cats microchipped. “We love a microchip.”

More of Coaster’s story here, or read our own microchip miracle story here.