It's been more than one year since Nicole Dargusch's therapy cat Shadow went missing but yesterday, the local woman received a phone call she will never forget.
Bundaberg Regional Council's animal control team had collected the six-year-old feline from a cat trap and, due to being microchipped, were able to reunite the pair.
Today, an emotional Nicole picked up Shadow from the pound after hearing the good news.
“I was with my boyfriend and I got a call from a private number and I almost didn't answer it,” she said.
“When I did, I spoke to someone from Council and then I heard them mention Shadow's name and I just started crying and crying.
“I honestly thought I would never see her again, I was so happy.”
Nicole said Shadow was her therapy cat and she had become lost during a tough time in her life.
“Last year I became homeless so I had to find a place for Shadow to stay,” she said.
“Then, when I began getting my life together again and wanted to collect Shadow, I was told she was gone.
“I called the RSPCA and pound to report her missing, I couldn't find her anywhere and I was heartbroken.”
Nicole said she remained in regular communication with Council's animal control team regarding the whereabouts of Shadow up until six months ago, when she said she had lost all hope.
“I honestly thought I would never see her again,” she said.
Yesterday, Nicole's world changed entirely.
Council's animal control portfolio spokesperson Cr May Mitchell said staff had found Shadow after receiving a report of a cat that was contained in a cat trap.
“I am told Shadow was in great condition, as if someone had been looking after her and keeping her well,” she said.
“Because Shadow's microchipping details were up to date, it made for a smooth transition to reunite Nicole with her much-loved pet.”
Cr Mitchell said behind the good news story was a very important message for animal owners.
“Microchipping is a requirement under state legislation and is a simple and effective way to identify your pet which, as we have seen in this case, is so important,” she said.
“It is an owner’s responsibility to ensure that the details on the chip are up to date so if found, your pet can be reunited as quickly as possible.
“With Nicole and Shadow, microchipping was the key factor in creating a happy ending to this story – without it, Shadow could well and truly never have been reunited.”
Nicole said she was over the moon with the result.
“I can't believe it… it's been a whole year!” she said.
“I don't think anything can be better than this.”
Microchipping your pets
In Queensland all cats and dogs between 8 and 12 weeks of age must be implanted with a microchip.
Responsibility for microchipping is with the person selling or giving away the animal.
You can be a responsible pet owner by doing the following:
- registering and de-sexing your dog at an early age
- ensuring your cat or dog is kept contained to your property at all times
- identifying your cat or dog with a collar, registration tag and a microchip
- keeping your dog or cat healthy by ensuring that its vaccinations, including parvovirus, are up to date, and that it receives a healthy and balanced diet
Find out more here.