Yes, a dog wandering into a Walmart and hanging out by the carts is amusing on its own. But it turns out that little shopping trip would also become a miracle. It happened just a few weeks ago in Oklahoma.
When Walmart employees noticed the dog, the store’s manager Sandy snapped a picture of him in a shopping cart. She then shared the photo of the sweet dog on Facebook, hoping his family would see and come get him. The post appeared on a community page for Norman, Oklahoma. It read:
“I’m lost! I need my parents. I wandered into Walmart on Classen Blvd. Come get me!”
While they awaited a response, Deb Melser volunteered to drive to the Walmart and scan the dog for a microchip. She works with Street Dog Rescue and had a scanner on hand.
“So, a dog walks into Walmart through the cart section – LOL – sounds like the beginning of a joke, right? True story, though. I volunteer to scan him for a microchip. Drive over to Walmart, where a very kind woman, the assistant manager of the store, has him in her office. Lo and behold, he HAS a chip!!”
Melser called the microchip company for any family contact information. The first number they gave her didn’t work. The second number did, but didn’t belong to the dog’s immediate family.
“…this lady’s mom said, she doesn’t think her daughter has that dog anymore. Sandy, the nice manager, said she would be willing to take him home and house him temporarily until his owner was connected.”
A short while later, the mystery would end, along with the dog’s loneliness.
“Kimberly, who the chip is registered to, called and said she lost him 6 YEARS ago!!!! 6 YEARS!!! She looked everywhere for him, but had given up hope!”
There, in the parking lot of Walmart, mother and long-lost son reunited at last. This dog is Frankie, the companion Kimberly Nulisch lost 6 endless years ago.
After all this time, she never thought she’d see Frankie again, let alone hold him in her arms.
Frankie is now happily back at home where he belongs. Reunions like this are made possible both by kind people and the power of microchipping!
How Effective Are Microchips At Returning Lost Animals?
No, a microchip doesn’t ensure a lost dog will get back home. But clearly it greatly improves their chances.
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AMVA) cited a study of over 7,700 stray animals at animal shelters. Dogs without microchips were returned to their owners 21.9% of the time, while dogs with microchips were returned to their owners 52.2% of the time. Cats without microchips were reunited with their owners only 1.8% of the time, and microchipped cats returned home 38.5% of the time. These numbers don’t lie!
As for the microchipped animals that weren’t returned, it was mostly due to incorrect or no owner information in the microchip registry database. That’s why registering and updating your information is so important!