Owner’s reunion with beloved dog drives support for compulsory microchipping

(Battersea Press Release) A dog owner has shared her emotional experience after being reunited with her Spaniel at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home in Old Windsor six months after she ran away from her dog walker.

Maddie the Cocker Spaniel was microchipped and with only twelve days to go until the compulsory microchipping law for dogs comes into force on 6 April, shows how much easier it will be to make a reunion with a lost beloved pet possible.

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Twelve-year-old Maddie was brought to Battersea’s Berkshire centre just days before Christmas, after she had gone missing on a walk in London. Her owner, Juliet Bouverie, explained:

“It was incredibly stressful and I felt so upset and above all helpless. It was even worse when I got home – the flat felt so lonely without Maddie and I couldn’t believe she was missing. We scoured the area for days and put up posters but to no avail. I washed Maddie’s dog bowls but couldn’t bear to put away her bed – it would’ve felt like I was giving up on her.”

Maddie belonged to Juliet and her long-term partner John, who died of a brain tumour six years earlier, making the loss of Maddie even more distressing. Juliet continues:

“It felt like yet another painful loss and the extra loneliness without having Maddie by my side was tough. It was particularly difficult coming home from work and not having her jumping up and down, demanding her supper. I wished she would scratch on my bedroom door for breakfast, just like she used to. I worried that she was being badly treated and no one would be managing her urinary incontinence – so I was determined not to give up on her.”

Six months down the track and just in time for Christmas, Juliet received a phone call to say that a local dog warden had found Maddie abandoned in Surrey and she had been taken to Battersea Old Windsor. It was because Maddie was microchipped that Battersea could find Juliet’s details and reunite the Spaniel with her relieved and emotional owner.

“I burst into tears when I found out Maddie was at Battersea Old Windsor. I was amazed that my luck had been turned around and that Maddie was back in my life. When I went to collect her, she squeaked and kissed me all over. When we got home she ran straight to the front door, rushed around my flat with excitement, then catapulted herself six feet into her bed. It was clear she was happy to be home.”

“Getting Maddie back was the best gift anyone could give me and it’s all because of the microchip – otherwise I never would’ve found her. It causes such heartbreak when dogs go missing and microchipping helps to provide much-needed reassurance to owners.  Now I have my best friend back.”

Kaye Mughal, Centre Manager at Battersea Old Windsor, says: “We were so pleased we could reunite Maddie with her owner Juliet – if only it was this easy for all 27% of stray dogs that come into our care. We warmly welcome the new law and hope it will mean we get to see more reunions like Maddie’s.

“Owners must make sure their dogs are microchipped and their details are up to date, so to help anyone who still needs to microchip their dogs we’re offering free microchipping at all our centres.”

Lost dogs can be reunited with their owners in just a couple of hours after being brought to a rescue centre, vets or local authorities, if they have a microchip. The chip is as small as a grain of rice and can instantly provide the contact details of the owner. Last year, Battersea reunited 542 lost pets with their owners.

If you have lost or found a cat or dog, please visit Battersea’s website www.battersea.org.uk to file a report or call the charity’s Lost Dogs & Cats Line as soon as possible on 0207 627 9245 – lines are open between 8am and 6pm seven days a week.

For more information on Battersea and responsible dog ownership, please visit www.battersea.org.uk/chipandtagevents.

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