In an extraordinary story, a dog and her person have been reunited after more than 12 years apart.
As a puppy, Dutchess escaped the yard in Florida back in February 2007. The now 14-year-old Fox Terrier was recently found in Pittsburgh under a shed. She was hungry, cold, and in desperate need of a manicure—but otherwise all right.
“I’m just so happy to have her back. I cried so many nights without her,” Katheryn Strang told CBS Pittsburgh. “I was at work, and my son, who was 12-years-old accidentally opened the door in the afternoon after school one day and we never saw her again.”
Dutchess was found on Tuesday and brought to Humane Animal Rescue in Pittsburgh. When she was scanned, her microchip showed that she was registered to Strang, who still lives in Florida.
“I held out hope because I paid for that microchip every year. It was $15 a year I wasn’t going to give up hope for that. Always hope,” said Strang, who also put up lost dog posters around town.
For all those years, Dutchess’ whereabouts remain unknown. Maybe she went on a series of incredible adventures? Made all sorts of animal and human friends?
Strang drove to Pittsburgh to reunite with Dutchess. Now, Dutchess is back in Florida with her family—which includes two additional Fox Terriers. In honor of their reunion, Humane Animal Rescue said they will host a microchipping special through the end of the month for area pets.
Microchips are effective in helping lost pets get returned to their owners. A study of more than 7,700 stray animals at animal shelters showed that dogs without microchips were returned to their owners 21.9% of the time while microchipped dogs were returned to their owners 52.2% of the time.
If you have pets, get them microchipped!