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Microchip Reunites Cat, Owner After 17 Months

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May 24, 2011

The Department of Animal Services is pleased to announce that another animal has been reunited with its owner after an extended separation—again due to a microchip.

On Tuesday, delighted Pacific Beach resident Sparr Garcia picked up her beloved cat “J.J.” from the County’s Gaines Street shelter. Garcia hadn’t seen her cat since December 2009. 

The happy reunion came less than a week after a microchipped Chihuahua named Cookie returned home to her Chula Vista family after five years.

J.J. was found running loose in the 2400 block of Christopher Street in Pacific Beach on Saturday by a Good Samaritan, who brought the animal to the shelter. The County scans all stray animals for a microchip, and fortunately for J.J., he had one.

Staff checked with the microchip company and then called a disbelieving Garcia, who assumed her cat was gone forever.

The animal was found in good health only about 12 blocks from home. Garcia had put up signs and called shelters to no avail when J.J. went missing in 2009.

“The recent stories of animals being reunited with their owners prove that having your animal microchipped really increases its chances of coming home,” said Dawn Danielson, Director of the Department of Animal Services.

Microchipping was especially important for J.J. Only about 4 percent of cats that arrive at County shelters are ever claimed by an owner. Dogs, which are more often identified at the shelter, are claimed by owners in about 35 percent of cases. 

Animal Services strongly encourages all pet owners to have their animals microchipped as a form of positive identification and to register the microchip with both the company and the animal shelter.

Microchips can be obtained at all three of the County animal shelters every Thursday from 1 to 3 p.m.

Dogs must have a current license or the owner must purchase one at the time in order to obtain the microchip. For more information regarding microchips, visit the Department’s website at