A family who lost their dog in 2017 while living in Galveston enjoyed a holiday surprise when their furry friend turned up at a Fort Worth shelter.
The dog, named Bolt, escaped from a weak spot in the fence while owners, Alexis and Robert, were busy preparing their home for Hurricane Irma, which was expected to slam into the island city.
After scouring the neighborhood streets and checking local animal shelters after the storm for their dog, the couple assumed the worst and eventually moved nearly 1,000 miles away to Cheyenne, Wyoming.
Against all odds, Bolt ended up in the care of Fort Worth Animal Care and Control (FWACC) years later. A microchip embedded in the animal revealed his true origins, and the hunt for his owners began.
Bolt had been surrendered to the shelter by a person entering hospice. Presumably, this person had found the lost dog and cared for him as their own during the interim years.
When FWACC contacted Bolt’s owners, they learned that Robert had recently passed away. However, Alexis was more than happy to reclaim what had been primarily her husband’s dog.
Through the help of Flying Shepherd Ranch, a Colorado-based nonprofit that assists in removing dogs and cats from high-kill shelters in other states, Bolt traveled by plane to his new home in Cheyenne. He was welcomed by Alexis, her two children, and a new four-legged companion.
FWACC officials related that the “dog-loving family was overcome with excitement and thankful that they were reunited, all because of a simple microchip.”
Although it had a remarkable conclusion, Bolt’s story began as a common one.
Approximately 10 million pets go missing in the United States annually, according to Animal Humane. Furthermore, Bolt was one of an estimated 3.9 million dogs that are abandoned or given up to shelters across the country every year.
Providing pets with adequate identification, such as collar tags or a microchip, increases the odds of retrieval. In the case of lost dogs, about 74.1% reunite with their owners when they carry identification.
FWACC insisted that Bolt’s reunion with his long-lost family would never have happened without his the aid of a microchip.