Losing a pet is a devastating experience and a family in Florida spent seven years not knowing what happened to their dog that went missing in 2014. However, after several years of waiting, things took a turn when the family received a call last Monday from the Eaton County Animal Control, stating that they had managed to trace their beloved dog, nearly 1,000 miles away in Michigan. In a detailed Facebook post, the law enforcement agency stated that they had traced the dog, named Sgt Pepper, by means of a microchip that was attached to him as a puppy.
In the post, the agency said that they were shocked to know that the dog had gone missing seven years ago and had landed up in another state.
“Imagine getting a phone call from Eaton County Animal Control that they have found your missing dog — that's good news, right? Well, now imagine our shock when we're told we've just found their beloved dog that was reported stolen in 2014 and he's now over 1,000 miles from home! That good news just turned into extraordinary news! And that's just what happened in the case of Sgt Pepper, a cute little Yorkie mix found in Charlotte on Monday,” the post said.
The note further explained that Sgt Pepper was six years old when he went missing from his Florida home. Though the pet's family had discovered a “found” post for him on Craigslist, the dog had already been claimed by someone who was not his real owner. “A police report was made, and the microchip company was alerted to his stolen status. He was never located,” the post said.
The department said that while they did not know “every detail of Sgt Pepper's journey”, they had managed to discover how he reached Michigan. “Sgt Pepper had been living with a family for the last 5 years who were unaware of his microchip and stolen status. We are grateful for their understanding that Sgt Pepper had to be reunited with his original family, and we ask that people please be sensitive towards their situation.”
Explaining what happened next, the post said, "On Monday, after 7 years of being missing, Sgt Pepper's mom got that call from us that he had been found. She booked a flight to Michigan, and yesterday she was finally reunited with her long-lost pup. "
Using the incident as an example, Eaton County Animal Control also stressed the need to microchip one's pets. "This incredible story is a testament to the value of microchipping your pet and keeping your contact info current. Sgt Pepper's microchip contact information had been updated as recently as February 2020. Our ACO was able to contact the owner within minutes of having the dog in possession. How amazing is that? "
Read the complete note here:
The heart-warming story won hearts on the Internet and many users left a flood of positive comments below the post.
One user, Calandra Danielle, wrote, “Grateful for the people that took care of the pup and returned her to her rightful owner.”
Vicki Bodell, another user, wrote, “I am happy for the original owner and sad for the people who unwittingly took him in and loved him (hopefully) for 5 years.”
A third user, Stephen Sheely, said, “Welcome home, Sgt. Pepper! 13 years old!?!? He's a trooper!”
Pattie Vielbig Martin was happy that the dog was reunited with his family but “sad for the dog who now has to adjust to another family in his old age”.
Ricci Misener Eschtruth, another user, was “glad for a happy ending” but wanted to know if the dog remembered his original family.
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