Dopey Back Home with Family after 6 Years on the Lam
Dopey the Cat, a big orange tabby, is back with his family near Sacramento six years after he disappeared. His owner, Donna Lane-Mills, thought he'd been hit by a car, and had long ago given him up for dead.
"He was a favorite of my youngest daughter, who was just 6 years old at the time," Lane-Mills said. "She was crying herself to sleep at night saying, 'I miss my Dopey.' "
But thanks to a microchip, the cat is back home after living in Rancho Cordova and Yolo County.
Lane-Mills said that the microchip company left a voice-mail message that Dopey had been found in the Yolo County Animal Shelter.
"I was shocked when they told me he was found," she said.
Where was Dopey all that time? He lived for a while in Rancho Cordova, where he was cared for by a woman who later gave him to her grandmother in Yolo County. When she died, Dopey was surrendered to the shelter.
At the shelter, it's unlikely that the 9-year-old cat would have been adopted, according to shelter workers.
Dopey has settled right in to the spare bedroom at his original home. He sits in a window and sleeps on the spare bed.
And he's renewing acquaintances with his old friends: Spencer, a 17-year-old American Staffordshire terrier mix, Inni, a 15-year-old cat, and his standoffish mother, Fluffy, who's still around.
If Dewey had been wearing a tag when he was lost, he would likely have been reunited with his family six years ago.
Microchipping is only one part of a three-prong pet recovery system, which includes tagging, belling and chipping your cat.
A bell on your cat's collar can help you locate her when she first escapes, before she truly goes missing.
A tag is the single best defense against losing your pet, enabling an immediate reunion. (Pet recovery solutions like TogetherTag offer web support so that anyone who finds your cat can go online to get you and your vet's contact info as well as any medical info--a lifesaver if your cat receives daily medication.)
A microchip is an excellent backup to the tag, so that if your cat loses the tag, she can still be reunited with you at any point in the future--even years later. However, chipping alone is not a solution: most people who find lost pets don't think to take them to a facility where they can be scanned. And if your cat is chipped, always remember to update your contact info with your microchip company when you move.
[LINK/IMAGES: Sacramento Bee]