This is a story with a happy ending, one that spans eight years, six states, and a dog named Beanie.
In 2010, the Wilson* family found a hungry and scared shepherd puppy on the side of the road. They took her home, fed her, and cleaned her up. They actively searched for her owners, but no one claimed her. After some time had passed, they named her Beanie, took her to the vet, had her vaccinated and microchipped, and found her a home with a couple who lived up north.
This past October, Kate Wilson, who now lives in Delaware with her family, was contacted by the Aiken County Animal Shelter. Beanie had been picked up as a stray by animal control officers, who found the Wilson’s contact information through their original microchip registration.
The Wilsons were stunned. How could this have happened? Certain that Beanie was just lost and not abandoned, they searched for the family who had adopted her, but the contact numbers from eight years before were disconnected. Then they posted Beanie’s information on “lost pet” sites all over social media, but by the end of the shelter’s mandatory “stray” hold period, no one had claimed her.
In the meantime, the Wilson family couldn’t stop thinking about Beanie. The decision to rehome her eight years before had been a hard one. At the time, they already had family pets as well as another stray puppy they were trying to place, so when they found Beanie what they thought was the perfect home, they reluctantly let her go, but they never forgot about her.
I spoke and texted with Kate often during the week Beanie was held at the shelter. Both Kate and her husband had come to see the hand of God in this unexpected reappearance of Beanie in their life, and they made the decision to bring her home—so long as she was kid-friendly and could get along with their other two dogs. We tested Beanie at the shelter with both children and other dogs and she passed with flying colors—the sweetest dog ever! We arranged for Beanie to catch a ride north with one of our transfers, and Kate met the truck on the side of the road at 3 a.m. to pick her up and take her home.
The reunion was magic. Beanie was happy to see Kate and her husband, and she bonded immediately with the children and the two dogs. She even sleeps with their little pug, who can be prickly with other dogs. “It’s like she’s always been here,” says Kate, “part of the family—like she never left.”
Meant to be? Hand of God? Works for me.
There are so many lessons to be learned from this story, but here’s the most important: microchips are an inexpensive, effective way to keep your pet safe when the worst happens and they get lost—all you have to do is keep your microchip contact information current. Microchips can be inserted quickly and painlessly by your vet or a local clinic.
Beanie was lucky; her microchip got her home. Will your pet be that lucky?
Their lives are in our hands.
*Name changed at the family’s request.
— by Kathy Jacobs, FOTAS Program Director
By the Numbers
Over the last two months (Oct 1 to Dec. 5), the County Animal Shelter has taken in 927 strays and surrendered pets! Please spay/neuter your dogs and cats.
Pets of the Week