Dog reunited with owner after nearly seven years apart
Veterinary nurse, Lyn O’Byrne, had given up all hope of ever finding her beloved little Lurcher, Rhia, after she was stolen from the Kent veterinary practice she worked in back in January 2001. That was until last week when she received a phone call from Battersea Dogs & Cats Home’s Lost Dogs & Cats Line.
Lyn said, ‘When I received the call I didn’t twig why The Lost Dogs & Cats Line were calling me I thought it might be something to do with my work. When they said they had a dog at Battersea called Rhia, registered to my name and address I literally collapsed on the floor.’
A year-and-a-half after Rhia was stolen, Lyn moved up to West Yorkshire. Knowing how invaluable the microchip inserted into the scruff of Rhia’s neck would be if she was ever found, she called Petlog (who manage and operate the microchip database), and updated Rhia’s unique microchip number with her new address. It was through this microchip that Battersea’s Lost Dogs & Cats Line were able to contact Lyn and let her know the good news nearly seven years after she was stolen.
Lyn raced down from her home in West Yorkshire to Battersea Dogs & Cats Home in London and was tearfully reunited with Rhia, who apart from appearing a little underweight and with a few additional cuts and bruises, seemed in good health.
‘I phoned every single person I knew once I got off the phone to Battersea’s Lost Dogs & Cats Line to let them know Rhia had been found’, Lyn said. ‘I can’t stress enough to everyone with a dog or cat to get them microchipped, it’s quick and simple and only costs around £15 - £20. Most importantly, update their details if they move house or change telephone number.
If I hadn’t changed my details when I moved to Yorkshire then Battersea would have had no way of contacting me as Rhia’s collar and ID tag had been removed.’
Scott Craddock, Operations Director at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home said, ‘So far this year Battersea’s Lost Dogs & Cats Line has reunited over 2,100 lost dogs and cats with their owners. We are hoping Lyn’s happy ending encourages more people to get their pet microchipped and update their details if they move.
Recently Battersea has witnessed a 30%* year-on-year increase of lost dogs coming in to the Home so we strongly urge anyone who has lost their dog or cat to call Battersea’s Lost Dogs & Cats Line on 0901 477 8477 and make a missing report (calls cost 60p per minute from a BT landline, other networks may vary, open 8am to 8pm seven days a week).’