Through confirmation via an implanted microchip on the dog, the Animal Rescue League of Western Pennsylvania will reunite owner and pet in Harrisburg, PA on Monday, November 24, 2008.
This incredible discovery was made late last week when Edna Colon, daughter of Elda Arguello, responded to a letter that the family received from the shelter in Pittsburgh.
All animals brought to the Animal Rescue League are scanned for an implanted microchip when they are brought to the facility. If a microchip exists, the number is checked in a national database and the owner on file is contacted. In this case, the phone number on file did not yield a response. However, the shelter sent a letter to Ms. Arguello and received a return call several days later.
At only six months of age, Tootsie went missing from the family's gated yard nearly five years ago. At the time, the family had another puppy, a Rottweiler named Baby. Sadly, Baby passed away at the age of three after eating contaminated dog food. The family is both shocked and overwhelmed with joy to receive word that their long lost pet is alive, well, and coming home. Several members of the family met an Animal Rescue League staff member Monday morning in Harrisburg for the reunion.
"It was great. It was so exciting when we saw him actually come ot of the car, my mom actually got to hold him," said daughter Edna Colon.
The Animal Rescue League of Western Pennsylvania places a microchip in every animal that is adopted from the shelter. The shelter also runs a veterinary clinic that can implant the chip into any pet, whether it is a rescued animal or not.
"Given the distance and time involved in this case, the chances were about one in a million that Tootsie would ever be reunited with his original owners. Without a microchip, the reunion would have been completely unequivocally and undeniably impossible. I can't think of a better ambassador for having your pet micro-chipped than Tootsie," said Janice Barnard, the Animal Rescue League of Western PA's Director of Special Programs.
"We appreciate the Animal Rescue League. If not for them and the microchip, we would never have seen Tootsie again. Because (the Animal Rescue League) understands animal lovers, they did all that they could to find us. We are so thankful to (the organization) and their work to get Tootsie back to our family," said eighteen year old Edna Colon.
The family looks forward to giving thanks this Thursday for their long-lost family member's return.
Information from the Animal Rescue League of Western Pennsylvania. http://www.animalrescue.org