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Tag: microchip

After floods in Texas, a pit bull named Thor ended up in California; now he’s back home


A pit bull separated from his family when they evacuated during the summer floods in Texas miraculously surfaced in northern California in September.

And as of yesterday, Thor was back home — thanks to help from strangers who heard about his story.

Eddie Hurtado and his family evacuated their home in San Marcos during the floods in late May, planning to return for their three dogs.

Two were found shortly after they returned, but not Thor.

Somehow, he ended up more than 2,000 miles away.

A police officer picked Thor up in Crescent City after seeing him jump from the back of a pickup truck. The officer brought the dog to the local animal shelter, where he was checked for a microchip.

That confirmed the dog was Thor, but Hurtado didn’t have the money to bring him home.

“We’re having to replace all the furniture and all the appliances and right now we don’t have any extra cash to try to get him down here,” he said.

After Thor’s story was aired on KEYE in Austin, and shared on social media, people stepped forward to help cover the cost.

“We ran the story on Thor at 6 p.m. and by 10 p.m. we had a shipper offering to ship the dog at a third of what Eddie had been quoted and we had viewers lined up to cover the cost. So Thor is coming home,” said Fred Cantú, a KEYE reporter.

“Most police versus pitbull encounters don’t have a happy ending,” he added. “Nice to be able to share this one.”

More offers of help came from California after the The Daily Triplicate published a story about Thor — enough help to get Thor a ride back home.

Hurtado had said he was hoping that would happen before Christmas. “Ever since my grandson found out that he was out there, he says that’s what he wants for Christmas. He wants to get his baby back.”

Thor left Crescent City Saturday, aboard a truck driven by Bruce Heinichen, a driver for Orange County Transport who is hauling a boat from Portland to Laredo, the Triplicate reported.

By Monday afternoon, the truck carrying Thor had crossed into Texas, the Los Angeles Times reported. By Wednesday, Thor was back with the Hurtados.

Hurtado said the transportation cost is being covered by two Austin benefactors, who will split the $665 bill.

The Hurtados, while still recovering from the May floods, are now dealing with a new round of flooding near the Blanco River.

“We probably need to get into a new house pretty soon,” said Hurtado. “But this time we’re keeping the dogs with us if we ever have to leave the place.”

(Photo: Del Norte County Animal Control Director Justin Riggs takes Thor for a walk; by Bryant Anderson / Del Norte Triplicate)

Lost dog is found — even though dyed black

waffles afterA Cairn Terrier stolen from outside a grocery store in Seattle was tracked down by her owner — despite having been dyed black by the homeless woman suspected of the theft.

Waffles, a formerly blond and gray dog, is back home after police and a veterinarian determined she was indeed the same dog that Robert Lucier and his family had spent four days looking for.

“Thank goodness she had a microchip,” Lucier told the New York Daily News.

The family had put up posters and searched for the dogs since she was stolen last week, while briefly left tied up outside a grocery store.

On Saturday, Lusicer received a tip from someone saying he saw a homeless woman “washing the paint” out of his dog in a public bathroom at Seattle Center. Lucier hopped on his bike and began searching the area.

He saw a woman with a dog that strongly resembled Waffles — except for being solid black.

He confronted the woman, who insisted it was her dog.

Lucier remained suspicious, especially after he got close enough to the dog to detect the scent of chemicals.

He said he and the woman wrestled a bit, and that’s when three police cars pulled up.

wafflesbeforeBoth sides insisted the dog was their’s and a veterinarian was called in to check for a microchip.

Sure enough, the dog had one, identifying her as Waffles and Lucier as the owner.

She is back home now, and, after a few baths, still mostly black — but Lucier expects the coloring will fade away over time.

“She’s still shocked. She’s normally such a friendly, outgoing dog. She’s still walking around with her tail between her legs,” he said. “It’s going to take a little time for her to get adjusted.”

Waffle’s family decided not to press charges against the woman who he said “has bigger problems” to deal with.

Dallas sets rules for handling strays

Folks in Dallas may become a little less likely to befriend a stray dog in need in light of an ordinance passed by the City Council this week.

The council approved an ordinance Wednesday requiring anyone who takes possession of a stray dog to make a reasonable effort to find the dog’s owner, the Dallas Morning News reports.

The rule comes largely as a result of one persistent dog owner, Brad Kirby, who has lobbied City Hall since two of his huskies disappeared two years ago. Kirby found the person he suspected stole them, but police said little could be done because the man told authorities he’d encountered the dogs running loose and gave them away.

The ordinance gives a person who picks up a stray dog 72 hours to:

• Call the phone number listed on the dog’s tags;

• Take the dog to a licensed veterinarian to screen for a microchip, tattoo or other identification and to call the owner if one is identified;

• Call 311 to request that animal services pick up the dog; or

• Deliver the dog to the city’s animal shelter.

A violation – meaning failure to do any of those things — will be punishable by a fine up to $500.

The lone vote against the measure came from council member Vonciel Hill, a former city judge, who said she worries that someone trying to help a stray could end up in trouble.

“I think that this ordinance places an inordinate burden on any person who is trying to have some kindness toward a stray,” she said.

Cat meanders a long way from Albuquerque

A cat from New Mexico turned up unexplainedly in Chicago –1,300 miles from his Albuquerque home.

No one knows how he got there, but eight months after disappearing from his home in New Mexico, Charles was picked up by Chicago Animal Care and Control.

Fortunately, he was checked there for a microchip — and had one.

That still wasn’t the end of his troubles. His owner said she lacked the funds to go there and pick him up, raising the possibility that, after traveling so far, he would be euthanized.

Then another Albuquerque resident came to the rescue. Headed to Chicago on a trip, he agreed to pick up Charles and bring him back home.

Missing Virginia dog turns up in Florida

deaconA German shepherd who went missing in Virginia turned up in Florida.

Deacon was spotted weaving in and out of traffic with another dog in a DeLand neighborhood — more than 600 miles from his home, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

Deacon had been missing since two weeks before Christmas and his owners were convinced the 18-month-old dog was dead.

“My husband and I had grieved and had moved on. We had decided we were not going to get any more dogs,” said Pamela Holt of Stuart, Va.

In Florida, a convenience store clerk spotted two dogs in traffic and coaxed them into the store for their safety. Later they were placed in the city run Second Chance Kennel, where Deacon was checked for a microchip. He had one.

DeLand Animal Control Officer Gary Thomas contacted the agency that issued the microchip, which connected him to Holt.

“He asked me if my dog was missing and I told him that he is missing but that I am pretty sure he was dead,” Holt said. “He said, ‘No he is not dead. I am looking at him.’ ”

The Holt’s adopted Deacon last year from a shelter in Statesville, N.C.

They reunited last weekend.

“It remains a mystery about how Deacon traveled to Florida and how he survived until he was found,” DeLand police Deputy Chief Randel Henderson said.

(Photo: DeLand Police Department)

Rescued L.A. River dog back with family

Spikey, the German Shepherd mix who was rescued from the rain-swollen Los Angeles River last month, is back home with his owners.

After forking over $85 in fees — part of which covered installation of a microchip — the Medina family picked up Spikey when he completed his quarantine period.

The dog  made headlines nationwide when video of his dramatic rescue from the L.A. River was aired on TV stations and the Internet.

The Medina family, which has had the dog for seven years, didn’t see any of the news coverage, but a granddaughter of his owner saw video of the rescue of the dog – nicknamed Vernon while in shelter — on the Internet.

AKC offers tips on preventing dog theft

The American Kennel Club says dog thefts are on the rise.

The AKC says it has has tracked more than 115 missing pets via incidents reported by news media and customer reports through Nov. 30 of this year, compared to a total of 71 in 2008.

The AKC offers the following advice to lessen the chances of your dog being stolen:

– Don’t leave your dog off-leash or unattended in your yard. Keeping your dog close to you reduces the likelihood it will wander off and catch the attention of thieves. Dogs left outdoors for long periods of time are targets, especially if your fenced-in yard is visible from the street.

– Never leave your dog in an unattended car, even if it’s locked.

– Don’t tie your dog outside a store. If you need to go shopping, patronize only dog-friendly retailers or leave the dog at home.

– Protect your dog with microchip identification. Collars and tags can be removed so make sure you have permanent ID with a microchip.

– If you suspect your dog has been stolen. Immediately call the police / animal control officer in the area your pet was last seen and file a police report.

- Don’t buy dogs from the internet, flea markets, or roadside vans. There is no way to verify where an animal purchased from any of these outlets came from.

Additional tips can be found on the American Kennel Club website.

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