The cat came back. But it wasn’t the very next day.
It took several weeks but thanks to microchip pet identification technology, Darcey, a black and white cat hailing from Brookdale, California (a little south of San Jose), has been happily reunited with her guardians, several weeks after she went missing in Burnaby.
Glenn and Pat Armstrong were travelling in their RV across Canada in September when three-year-old Darcey escaped her home on wheels and sadly, the Armstrongs searched but couldn’t find her before they had to return to California.
A Good Samaritan found the friendly feline in Burnaby and surrendered her to the BC SPCA Burnaby Branch on Nov. 10. After Remembrance Day, branch staff were able to trace Darcey’s guardians to their California home with her identification microchip. The Armstrongs hit the road the next day for Canada, arriving the morning of Nov. 15 to be reunited with their beloved Darcey at the Burnaby SPCA.
“They were very excited to hear from us. They drove up as soon as they heard we had her,” says Burnaby SPCA branch manager Ryan Voutilainen. “It’s amazing. We are so happy for this cat but so many never get reunited.”
Voutilainen says this example illustrates why pet guardians should properly identify their animal companions.
“We cannot stress the importance of properly identifying your animal. You can tattoo, microchip and have a collar with ID on it,” he says, noting that identification is an inexpensive process that can easily be done when the animal is being neutered or spayed.
Of the thousands of lost cats that come to the BC SPCA’s shelters each year, only eight per cent can be returned to their guardians due to lack of identification. Nationally, that number drops to four per cent.
“The biggest tip is to make sure your information is current and to always update it if you move,” says Voutilainen.
The British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is a not-for-profit organization reliant on public donations. Our mission is to protect and enhance the quality of life for domestic, farm and wild animals in B.C.