Her eyes were getting sore, but not as sore as her heart. She had to keep looking though, it had been two years of searching to no avail.
She had a funny feeling to check for the microchip. She logged in and then saw it as clear as day. Her best friend had been stolen and she would make sure they were caught.
Kameroun Mares had been through so much that others wouldn’t have shaken off so easily – cancer. Even though she had beaten it, it still had after-effects on her.
She didn’t want it to be something that she constantly had to think about. She wouldn’t let it get her down, she felt that all she needed was a little company.
She found the perfect breed for her after extensive research – she was going to get a Siberian husky to take all of her depression away. It had gotten to the point where some days she couldn’t even get off the couch.
Huskies need a lot of space to roam and get exercise. This meant that she would have to be more active too. She knew that this little furball would change her life for the best.
She went to a litter and had an instant connection with one of them. She took the little rascal home and named him Semper Fidelis, which is Latin for “always faithful”.
Kameroun loved little Semper. She felt a huge improvement in her mood and took away all of her depression. But there would be trouble around the corner.
Her furball wasn’t very good when it came to leashes – which is a trait attributed to huskies. Even though he was born in the suburbs he always thought of his roots.
Little Semper loved to tug and pull on the lead, he wanted to run. Kameroun knew that if she ever let go of the lead she may never see the little fluff again.
The two new pals were inseparable. During all of the time she was feeling bad, she knew Semper would lift her spirits. Kameroun was feeling progressively better every day! She thought that maybe she could even live a normal life.
When Kameroun made the decision to move to Florida she took her faithful companion with her. But something tragic would happen.
The cancer that she thought she had beaten was back. To make matters worse her medical insurance wouldn’t cover treatment in Florida. She had to get treated back in California, leaving her best friend behind.
She didn’t want to do it but she knew she had to. She cried as she hugged her best friend goodbye and left him with her roommate, a decision she would look back on.
Semper would stay in her apartment with her roommate while she was gone. But things would take a twisted turn to make matters far worse.
While Kameroun was getting treated far away she got a fateful call from her roommate. “I was told by my roommate Semper had escaped through the front door,” she explained to ABC News. “I asked, ‘Did he have a collar on?’ My roommate said he didn’t know.”
Kameroun couldn’t believe what had happened. She went to the only place she could think of – social media. But after two years of sending pictures and searching, she still hadn’t found her dog.
She decided to check for a microchip one day. This meant would lead to a clue that would be the break in the case, and explain what happened to her best friend.
Kameroun was feeling particularly low today. The heartache of losing her best friend was only getting worse with time — not better. Tired of feeling helpless, she had an idea. It couldn’t hurt to check… after all, there was nothing left for her to lose.
Opening her laptop, she fired it up and logged into the microchip database that Semper had been registered with. Then she saw something that made her eyes widen.
There was not one record attached to Semper’s microchip, but two. But who had registered the second one? The original registration for the American Kennel Club was there, but there was also a second mysterious record under the name “PetKey.” What’s more, the date that it had been added was around the time of Semper’s disappearance.
Kameroun felt a wave of hope wash over her. Now she suspected foul play. Finally, she had a clue. She was no longer battling a faceless enemy. And she knew exactly what to do.
With renewed resolve, Kameroun hired a private investigator and a lawyer. She wasn’t going to give up on her best friend. Ana Campos Investigations (ACI) worked tirelessly on the case, until one day they made a disturbing discovery. Kameroun’s suspicions were finally confirmed: Semper hadn’t run away after all — he was taken.
But why would the roommate she had trusted have told her that her dog had escaped? There was something fishy going on here.
“In reality, he was never missing; he was sold,” Kameroun said. “He was stolen [by my roommate] and sold from me without my consent.”
That’s when the investigators discovered that Kameroun’s roommate had sold Semper for just $200! But what could they do now? Would they have any recourse? But Kameroun was a fighter, and she wasn’t about to give up now that they had made a breakthrough.
Kameroun battled the legal case in court, and she fought with everything she had. Until one day, it all paid off. The court decided to rule in her favor and declared Kameroun the rightful owner of Semper. Now, she had to get him back. The Sherriff seized Semper from his illegal new owner. After two and a half years, he would finally be returned to her.
Ana Campos uploaded an update on the case on October 18, 2018. Underneath the video, the caption read: “Watch at your own risk of crying immediately. Here is the video and audio from Kameroun Mares reunion with her dog Semper today.”
Semper strains on the lead when he hears his name, and the officer lets him go. He sprints towards Kameroun, eyes wide and tongue lolling out of his grinning mouth. Kameroun awaits him with open arms and kneels to receive him.
After everything she’s been through, she finally has her best friend back! But will he remember her?
Semper hears his name as Kameroun shrieks, then he starts to strain against the leash. The Sherriff holds on as tightly as she can, but he breaks free. Suddenly, he is dashing toward Kameroun, with ears flat and tongue lolling. His tail is a grey blur of happiness as he bounds, closing the distance between them.
Kameroun falls to her knees and opens her arms as the tears run down her cheeks. She finally has her best friend back in her arms. She can hardly believe it’s really him. Then, he does something that dissipates all her doubts.
“He’s still the same as usual,” Kameroun cries. “Just tugging the leash as always.” Kameroun cries tears of joy into her dog’s fur and then leads him inside — back home. But the question remains, how did this happen in the first place?
Who is to be held accountable for Semper’s unauthorized rehoming?
Ana Campos Investigations wrote: “Please keep in mind Kameroun is just 26 years old. She was 23 when this began. For a young girl to have the wherewithal and courage to hire a private investigator and attorney is remarkable.”
She continued, “Shame on Petkey pets for causing her to suffer and spend her savings on fighting for her dog back because of the role they played.”
“He was stolen and sold by her roommate 2 1/2 years ago. She was told he was lost on April 30, 2016. But on April 11, 2016 the buyer added their name to his AKC Reunite “registered chip”. They registered this registered chip on Petkey pets instead. Petkey pets did not bother to see if he was chipped already.”
Nevertheless, Ana Campos Investigations were as thrilled as Kameroun to finally have Semper back!
PetKey’s response was unsatisfactory: “It is a pet identifier,” they claimed. “It’s not a certificate of ownership, it’s just to help pets going in the right direction. Vets, shelters, animal control etcetera. It’s not for the microchip company to determine who the rightful owner is.”
But surely they should have checked for a chip and contacted Semper’s owner?
Nevertheless, Semper’s story serves to illustrate how important it is for people to microchip their pets — if it weren’t for Kameroun’s ability to check Semper’s online microchip records, she may never have seen him again. “The huge wound in my heart can finally start healing,” Kameroun told ABC News.
Kemeroun also advised owners of lost pets to check their microchip records for extra registries: “I implore owners to be aware that this can and does happen,” she cautions.