Long-Lost Dog Returned to Owners Thanks to Microchip
As September was drawing to a close, Zizou, a black Jack Russell Terrier named after the famous French soccer player Zinedine Zidane, was returned to his family. Zizou had been missing from Silver Spring since the week of July 4., and no one had seen him since. Fearing the worst and running out of options, Zizou’s owner Luis Moreno had almost given up hope. “It had been too long…but something told me he was still out there,” says Moreno.
Zizou was found wandering the streets of Crestwood by Abigail Poe, a resident in the area. She was out walking her dog when she spotted him. “He was in decent shape,” she says, pointing out that it did not look as though he had been astray for 3 months. Poe brought Zizou to the Georgetown Veterinarian Hospital and Dr. Lee Morgan where he was scanned for a microchip. Luckily, Dr. Morgan found the microchip, and after a fruitless search of the hospital’s own database he contacted the national database, which managed to locate the owners.
When Georgetown Veterinarian Hospital called Moreno to tell him that his beloved Zizou had been found near Georgetown, Moreno says that while his first reaction was joy, he also thought it was a bit strange that Zizou had been found so far away from his home. Dr. Morgan points out that “they would never had found the dog if it weren’t for the microchip.” Microchipping pets has become increasingly popular the last years, and Dr. Morgan recommends all his clients to do it; “You never know what’s going to happen,” he says, explaining how sad it is to find dogs you know belong to somebody, but never get returned because of missing tags.
The microchip works as an ID for animals, readable by a special machine. There are different types of microchips available nationally and internationally. Although some scanners don’t pick up all types, the scanners are rapidly getting better, reading chips not specifically designed to its specific standard. The benefits of the microchip are multiple; including retrieving lost animals, tracking vaccination records and trade security. For animal shelters, microchipping is essential, and allows the employees to track down owners of missing, hurt, or even abused pets.
Although there are a lot of benefits with the microchip, it is important to note that complications do occur. It is rare, but it is a risk one should be prepared for.
Back in Silver Springs, Moreno is very happy that he inserted a microchip in Zizou just 8 months ago. “A lot of people missed him,” he says. When asked if he would recommend it to others he replies “Definitely!”