Do you remember Hollis the big yellow lab that we just pulled from an open access shelter? Well, as it turns out, this big boy was not homeless at all.

Harley's journey had been a tricky one as he was picked up in a suburb of Chicago, but taken to another town's animal control where he waited for 14 days. In this time frame, a letter was supposed to have been sent to the address from Hollis’s microchip but it was never received. After a stint at this animal control, Hollis was then transferred to yet another open access facility, which is where TAF found him last week.

TAF pulled Hollis after noticing a large hematoma on one of his terribly infected ears. Once brought to the vet, Hollis had his ears treated, was neutered, and received all of his vaccinations. 

When Hollis was back in our care, we decided to pursue his microchip and see if we could find his family. The phone number listed had been disconnected but there was also an address. A friend of TAF went to the address and talked to the people who live there. It turns out that the dog named Harely had escaped from their backyard about 3 weeks earlier after one of the kids let him into the yard. They had visited Chicago Animal Care and Control almost daily in hopes that someone had turned in their beloved pup to the shelter, but they never found Harley. They were resigned to the fact that someone had likely taken him into their home and they would never see him again.

Well, yesterday this family came to get their pup...to say they were excited is an understatement. The kids could barely contain themselves as I went over all the medical paperwork we had to give them. We also had a new name tag made for Harley and gave them a new leash and collar. We also had updated the microchip information for them.

When I let Harley run out into the lobby, he whimpered with happiness as he fell into his dads lap, licking the kids faces and pawing at them. He was so so happy to see them, and the kids were in tears. It was truly a beautiful thing.

This is just another example of never giving up on your beloved pet. If you lose them, find out where every open access shelter is in your area and post flyers etc. If your pet (both cat and dog) is not microchipped, do so ASAP. If they are already microchipped, make sure that you contact the microchip company and confirm that your address and phone number is up to date. Even though MANY rescues, both small and large, adopt out animals that are already microchipped… this does not mean that they have provided any of the adoptor’s information to the microchip company. It is ultimately the adoptive owners responsibility to do this. 

If you live in Illinois, Lost Dogs Illinois has a facebook page that allows you to post lost and found dogs. They also provide options for flyers that you can use. Another option is to look for your lost dog or cat on Craig’s List.

If anybody else has suggestions of where people can look for their lost pets, please feel free to write them in the comment section of this post. You never know… it just may save a life.