A Cat’s Tale – Using Technology to Find Lost Pets

In May of 2011, Anna Poland, a former City of Arlington employee, adopted a beautiful black and burgundy long hair cat from Arlington Animal Services (AAS).

At the time of the adoption, the three-year old cat received a microchip implant for animals consisting of a tiny identifying integrated circuit, placed under her skin. The chip is about the size of a large grain of rice. The microchip implant is standard procedure for all pets adopted from AAS.

In July of 2011, the cat accidentally slipped away from her new home, and had been missing all this time. Last week, Anna received a phone call telling her that her cat had been found 850 miles away in Durango, Colorado!

Poland hadn’t named the cat prior to her disappearance, but after her adventure she has christened her “Dora the Explorer.”  Dora was found and brought back to Anna by Padgie Kimmick, a retired nurse who runs Cat Care TNR of Southwest Colorado Inc., a trap/neuter/return program for feral cats in Colorado. Dora was dropped at Ms. Kimmick’s cattery.

During a visit to a veterinarian’s office, Dora was scanned and the chip, put in by AAS, was discovered.  Kimmick immediately called Poland to arrange a reunion and flew with Dora into Dallas Love Field to hand-deliver the cat back to her owner.

This miraculous reunion was made possible by the microchip administered by AAS at the time of adoption.  Poland states, “I still can’t believe she’s here.  I am amazed…I thought I had lost the cat and never would see her again.”

Chris Huff, Animal Services Manager notes:  “I have heard many stories and seen many reunions of microchipped animals, but none as amazing as Dora.”

Huff continues, “Many animals are reported lost or missing each year.  Proper identification is the key to reuniting pets with their families.  Anyone who owns a dog or cat in the City of Arlington should register their pet with the City by purchasing a City license.  A permanent means of identification for the pet is the microchip.”

What does Poland say about microchipping?  “I highly recommend it.  You never know if and when your pet will go missing and when it does and shows up where you’d least expect it, it’s highly gratifying that you can be reunited. Since our reunion, Dora has never left my side.  She loves to get between me and my laptop.  I had really missed that.”

Pet owners should check the AAS Calendar of Events for special events like Responsible Pet Ownership Day at The Arlington Animal Services Center.

For information about microchipping, City of Arlington pet licenses, and upcoming special events, contact Arlington Animal Services at 817-459-5898.

By Cheryl Nason