It was a happy end to a sad story for Niall Fitzgerald from Dunboyne when he was reunited with his dog Shadow, who had gone missing almost two years previously.
Niall received a call from Liam Kinsalla at Dublin SPCA in mid January after the dog’s microchip revealed him as the registered owner and within seconds Shadow recognised him and the video on the Dublin SPCA Facebook page shows her delight in finding her home again.
Liam said, “We received a report of Shadow in Bohernabreena in D24, running with another dog. There were a number of attempts to catch them but they inspector kept missing them.
Eventually a member of the public managed to catch Shadow and brought her to the pound.”
“Judging by her condition we can only assume that she was locked into an area that she couldn’t escape from because no dog would voluntarily stay in those conditions.
Ten year old Shadow was underweight and suffering from severe mange. In an unusual twist of fate, Liam says that the dog and the case rang a bell when the call came through but so much time had passed that he thought no more of it until the microchip revealed the name of the original owner. Niall’s late father, Richard, had been a close friend of Liam’s and had visited him every Saturday.
“I couldn’t believe that when Shadow was found the call had come to me, of all people. Shadow had been Richard’s pride and joy and you couldn’t find a better person to look after a dog”, Liam said. “I’d be very surprised it Shadow had run away two years ago, we can only assume she was taken”.
This tale had a happy ending solely thanks to the fact that Shadow was microchipped. While it is already a legal obligation to microchip puppies, from 1st April all dogs much be microchipped by law.
The cost of microchipping, certificate and registering the dog is approximately €50, a one-off payment that can make all the difference, as demonstrated by Shadow’s story.
A little like selling a car, when a dog is adopted or sold the registration must be transferred to the new owner, which costs in the region of €17. Similarly, if a dog is surrendered to a pound or rescue, it will only be accepted if the person surrendering the dog is the registered owner.
The DSPCA hold regular microchipping events which can include special offers of just €10 to microchip a dog.
See the video of Niall and Shadow's reunion here: