A Shih Tzu named Bandit disappeared five years ago. But he wasn’t gone forever.
Bandit’s person, Mike, and Mike’s nieces kept looking for the dog, whom Mike had fought to keep in his divorce settlement. But it turned out that Bandit found him.
The shelter scanned him for a chip, and lo and behold, he had one. Somehow animal control had missed it. The shelter staff were even more surprised to find that the phone number registered with the chip was still current. Mike lived right nearby. Within 10 minutes he was at the shelter, ready to reunite with his long-lost companion.
“This is my little buddy,” Mike said, holding Bandit close and fighting back tears. “This is my best friend.”
Bandit had run out an open door five years earlier and was seen being scooped up by a stranger in a car. Someone got the car’s license plate number, but Mike says the man refused to return Bandit despite his repeated attempts.
Mike was often out of town doing construction work; it was lucky that Bandit happened into the shelter when he did, because a week earlier Mike would not have been home to take the call and pick him up.
Without a microchip, Bandit and Mike never would have found each other again. Time Magazine writes that “approximately 10 million pets that have been chipped over the past 15 years.” They “have helped reunite more than 600,000 pets with their owners,” reports Petside.com‘s Lavanya Sunkara. For a FAQ about microchips, visit the Humane Society‘s website.