For six years, Virginia Bell of Manatee County wondered about the fate of her escaped dog Spanky after he escaped from her backyard in 2014. One of the actions that Bell took was posting the news about her dog on “Lost and Found Pets 941”, a Facebook page where lost pets are reported and discovered. Patty Giarrusso, the creator of the Facebook page called Bell in June of 2020 to report that her dog was found.
Bell did not know if the dog had run off on his own, if it was taken from her backyard, or a combination of both. But what she did do before her dog ran away was put in a microchip. That was crucial as Giarrusso reported to Bell the discovery of her dog all thanks to the microchip.
Spanky, a Shih Tzu, was discovered by Heather Von Seggern who found the dog as she was walking her own golden retriever. Von Seggern reported that Spanky did not seem like he was a derelict dog, but he did look like he had been out for a while. However, there is no evidence of what exactly happened to the dog from the time he left Bell’s backyard until he was discovered by Von Seggern.
From the evidence, it does appear that Spanky was taken care of by someone during that time. But the key element in reuniting Spanky with Bell was the microchip. Both Bell and Von Seggern encourage all dog owners to have a microchip placed in their pooch. The microchip contains all the necessary information about the dog along with contact information to reunite them with their owners.
In the case of Spanky, the presence of the chip meant that the information could be quickly scanned and reported. Without the microchip, Spanky might never have been reunited with Bell. Although the microchip did not solve the mystery of where the dog has been all these years, it is clear from the evidence that someone did take in Spanky at some point.
Whether that person or persons decided to let Spanky go or the dog ran away on his own will never be known. But what is understood is that the microchip played a most important role in eventually bringing Spanky back to his owner.
Microchips are considered a big step up from the old-fashioned dog license that can be easily removed. Since microchips are planted under the skin, they will remain in place unless located and removed by a vet. Plus, the microchip contains the name of the dog, contact information with their owner, and any other pertinent information that needs to be known.
For Spanky, it meant that he was brought back together with Virginia Bell, who will most likely keep a closer eye on her pooch. What the story does reinforce is that while a microchip may not reunite all pet owners with their beloved pets, it does increase the odds that it can happen. So, getting a microchip is a worthwhile investment.