Microchips uniting lost dogs, owners

Petunia took to her old routine right away. She went on her daily walk with her owners just like before, as if she never was away from them.

She vanished eight years ago. But, a few months ago, John Pruitt got a surprising call.

“The next day is my birthday and I thought it was my buddies playing a joke on me,” said Pruitt, who is Petunia’s owner.

It was no joke, but it absolutely is nothing short of astounding. Petunia disappeared in Fredericksburg, Va. Eight year later, someone found her in Yuba City, Ca. Petunia, who was 2,700 miles away from her owners, was reconnected because of a microchip.

The chip is “inserted underneath the skin. So, it’s always going to be there,” said Kristen Pruitt, who is also Pentunia’s owner.

The chips are about as big as a grain of rice. They usually go in the middle of the back.


In the case that the dog ever leaves home, the chip is able to retrieve all of its information and a registration number will link the dog to its owner.

“I would say about sixty percent of the pets I see get micro-chips,” said Dr. Margaret Hollis, a Veterinarian.

People like Jenny Blau and her husband spent 10 long days worrying about their beloved dog.

“She got spooked by a noise on the street and pulled out of her leash,” said dog owner Bret Wincup. “And she was just gone.”

Mona wound up miles from her Dupont Circle home in a shelter in Annapolis, Md. She was about to be adopted when someone decided to check for a micro-chip. But, Brett and Jenny never got a chip for their dog, Mona. A veterinarian, who treated her as a puppy in Norfolk, implanted one for the breeder. Even though Mona was never registered to an owner, the chip was still able to bring her home.

“It was really that person who took the extra step and call the company and manufacturer to find out who put in that chip,” Jenny said.

“This vet thankfully had heard about our story and said that must be Bret and Jenny in Dupont,” Bret said.

Veterinarians who spoke with ABC7 say that the chips are sending pets home in increasing numbers.

As added incentive, there is another reason to get a microchip for your dog: if you are planning to travel internationally with your pet. Often, computer chips are required, as they are used to prove your pet has gotten all its shots.