It's likely that you've read news stories regarding great pet travels at some point. Some of the lengths that our furry friends will go to in search of loved ones, or an adventure, truly are amazing. However, the tale that we're bringing to you today is incredible for a different reason, and serves to remind us all just how important it is to microchip our precious four-legged companions.
Apollo, a Great Pyrenees/St. Bernard cross from Jacksonville, Florida, went missing on August 11, 2016 while his pet parent's son was watching him. Despite posting on various pet sites, reactivating their beloved dog's microchip, checking with neighbors, and asking friends and family members to be on the lookout for Apollo, there was no trace of the dog – until exactly one month later when, on September 11th, Cynthia Abercrombie received a telephone call.
The phone call came from an animal shelter in Swansea, Massachusetts. Animal Control Officer Lisa White had found Apollo roaming the streets at 1am on September 8th. A routine check for a microchip brought Lisa in touch with Cynthia, but there was a problem: Apollo was 1,100 miles away.
"When they told me where he was, I said, 'I don’t even know how I’m going to get him back,'" Cynthia told her local newspaper.
Step forward Mary Ellen House of East Coast Paws, a volunteer animal transportation service that regularly rescues pets from high-kill shelters and relocates them. Mary Ellen was sure that the organization could help, and organized a relay of nearly two dozen drivers, each making a journey of an hour, to take Apollo back to Jacksonville.
Six weeks after she last saw him, Apollo was reunited with Cynthia. "It’s a big relief just having him back, knowing he's OK," Cynthia gushed. Apollo's adventure was over, with his pet parent left stumped as to how he could have travelled so far by himself; the 1,100-mile distance tends to suggest theft.
While it's wonderful that Apollo is finally home, and truly heartening to hear of the volunteers' dedication, this story has a moral that we should all abide by: ensure that your dog is microchipped, and keep that information up to date.
Photo ©Garret Pelican/The Florida Times-Union