In 2007, Katheryn’s Fox Terrier named Dutchess vanished from her home in Orlando. She assumed that she would never see her beloved pet again.
But then, twelve years later, she received a strange phone call that changed everything.
A man from Pittsburgh found an old dog under his shed. The animal was cold and hungry, so he took it to the Local Humane Animal Rescue.
There, the vest discovered that the dog had a microchip. The scan of the chip revealed that its owner’s address was in Florida.
The staff at the shelter assumed that the dog’s owner must have recently moved to Pittsburgh. So they called the number provided by the chip, and a woman named Katheryn Strang picked up the phone.
They soon found out that she lived more than 1,000 miles away. So, how did her dog end up in Pittsburgh?
“The whole story kind of unfolded while we were on the phone,” one of the staff members at the Humane Animal Rescue said.
“And we were equally excited and shocked and surprised.”
It turned out that the senior dog was, in fact, Dutchess. Katheryn, who was now living in Boca Raton was in complete shock.
How was this possible?
“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,” she said in an interview with KDKA.
She couldn’t believe it when the staff at the Local Humane Animal Rescue said they found Dutchess.
“I can’t believe you’re calling me right now,” Katheryn said. “I can’t believe this is happening.”
When a pet’s microchip gets scanned, it transmits all the owner’s information to a handheld device. Microchipping your dog or cat is highly recommended as it is an effective way of locating your pet if it gets lost.
The American Kennel Club explained that the chip itself is about the same size as a grain of rice, and it’s a radio-frequency identification device.
The microchip is implanted between the animal’s shoulder blades under the skin with a special syringe and needle.
The shelter staff or a vet can scan the chip and locate the owner. Once a pet owner has registered with a pet recovery database, their information will get linked to the chip’s ID number.
“I held out hope because I paid for that microchip every year,” Katheryn said. “It was $15 a year, I wasn’t going to give up hope for that. Always hope.”
After the call with the shelter staff, Katheryn got into her car and drove to Pittsburgh. It took her over 18 hours to arrive at the destination.
She has finally reunited with her 14-year-old dog, which was last seen on February 28, 2007.
It has been over 12 years since Dutchess first disappeared from Katheryn’s home in Florida. The dog truly had quite an adventure!
But how did the dog reach Pittsburgh?
Nobody knows how Dutchess ended up in another state. Katheryn is just happy to see her again. “There was always a hope,” she said.
“It was so worth the drive.”
According to the Humane Animal Rescue, Dutchess was “hungry, shivering, and in serious need of a nail trim.”
The dog went missing near Universal Studios, which was close to Katheryn’s house.
Katheryn said she feared her dog might have been run over by a car. She is thankful that the man who found Dutchess decided to take her to the vet.
“I am just that kind of person,” she said. “I don’t give up hope.”
The staff at the shelter said that Dutchess was nervous and shaking a lot. They suspect that she had been living on the streets.
But once she had been reunited with her owner, Dutchess became much more relaxed and comfortable.