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Several hundred people attended the Orland Park Township Pet Palooza in support of the Pet Food Pantry.
Lost Dogs Illinois offered free microchip scans. Each dog was scanned to see if the chip was working. Also the owner was given the microchip number and the Company’s phone number to check if the owner’s contact information is correct.
Alderman Ariel E. Reboyras, State Representative Jaime Andrade and City of Chicago Animal Care and Control co-hosted a low-cost vaccine and microchip clinic, Saturday, June 4th. Lost Dogs Illinois was invited to provide FREE engraved ID tags for each dog and cats who received vaccinations and/or a microchip. Each tag along with the rabies tag was attached to the dog’s or cat’s collar before leaving the clinic. Also each participant received our 5 Things to do if you lost a dog or found a dog. Over 100 dogs and cats were chipped and tagged!
Lost Dogs Illinois and Realtors to the Rescue of Homeless Animals teamed to offer free microchip scanning at Chicago’s annual “Bark in the Park” celebration to benefit the Anti-Cruelty Society. Scores of “Bark” dogs and their owners, including many who walked the official 5K course on Lake Shore Drive, stopped by the LDI/RTTR booth to verify that their dogs’ chips were active and properly registered.
“One of the challenges of microchipping is that there are now at least 15 companies offering the product, and not everyone knows which company produced their pet’s chip,” LDI founder Susan Taney said.
“In addition, shelters, pet stores, veterinary clinics, animal hospitals – everyone has a different policy for registering the chip,” Taney continued. “Some will complete the paperwork and submit the registration for the pet owner. Some rely on the owner submitting the paperwork. Some chip companies don’t even keep track of to whom the chip is registered. So it’s always good for a pet owner to know exactly what he or she has purchased, and how it can help a lost pet return home.”
Booth visitors who took advantage of the free service thanked LDI and RTTR repeatedly for offering this kind of help. Even better, a number of dog owners said the service reminded them they needed to update the contact information on their chip registries.
“We changed our dog’s name after we adopted her, but we forgot to contact the chip company,” one woman said. “We’ll do that right away now.”
“We’ve moved recently but the chip still has our old address, in New York!” another woman said. “Wow, we’ve got to change that fast.”
Taney and RTTR member Suzy Thomas indicated afterwards they would like their two organizations to collaborate on similar events in the future that can raise the public’s awareness of the importance of microchipping their pets and making sure they wear ID tags with correct contact information.
“It’s all about doing what you can to protect the human-animal bond,” Taney said.
by Lydia Rypcinski
Susan Hochgraber was so thrilled to see her Belgian Malinois again after 11 days that she almost didn’t mind the “guests” Rosie brought home with her.
“Ugh, the emergency vet found 20 ticks on her the day we got her back,” Hochgraber said. “Then 10 more the next day, and our regular vet found eight more after that. Other than the ticks and a few cuts on her paws, though, she was OK.”
Hochgraber, a canine massage therapist from Midlothian, Ill., had barely had time to get to know the dog she rescued January 15, 2016 before Rosie escaped on April 12.
“Rosie had been rescued from the streets. It took a week and a half just to get her comfortable living with me,” Hochgraber said. “We had just finished her third week of obedience training when she escaped.”
Hochgraber had noticed that Rosie was beginning to jump at fences, so she instructed her dog walker to take off Rosie’s leash only after she had gotten the dog into the house. But the dog walker unleashed Rosie in the yard that day.
Rosie promptly jumped Hochgraber’s 4-ft.-high fence into a neighbor’s yard, and then double-jumped the neighbor’s gate fence into the street. She was gone in a flash.
Hochgraber turned to Lost Dogs Illinois, FindFido’s service, Facebook, friends and neighbors, police departments in surrounding suburbs, and Perfect Pooches, a Chicago-area dog rescue and adoption agency, for advice on getting Rosie back.
“I did everything everyone suggested – flyers, postings, everything,” Hochgraber said. “People reported a lot of sightings, particularly around a park about two blocks from my house, and especially around one of the five ball fields at that park.”
People also reported seeing Rosie along the Metra railroad tracks that run between Midlothian and Robbins. Rosie apparently followed those tracks down to Robbins, where a woman named Charita lives with her family.
“Charita had seen our flyer and called me when she saw Rosie on April 21,” Hochgraber said. “I drove to Robbins, turned a corner and saw Rosie out in a field.”
Hochgraber called out to her dog, which got Rosie’s attention; but when she made a move towards her, the dog bolted in the opposite direction.
Volunteers from Perfect Pooches helped Hochgraber set up humane traps and round-the-clock surveillance in Charita’s backyard and near an abandoned house next to her home. They figured it might be Rosie’s “quiet place,” where she went for the night.
Hochgraber placed Rosie’s blankets in the traps, as well as towels that had the scent of her other dog, a German Shepherd named Buddy. The volunteers baited the traps with some of Rosie’s toys and treats like hot dogs and BBQ chicken from KFC.
The first night, Rosie managed to get the food and even lie on a blanket left inside the trap without tripping the door. The next night, she lay down next to the trap.
The third night, April 23, Rosie lay down inside the trap. stretched out, and tripped the gate door shut. The volunteer on duty waited five minutes to make sure Rosie was inside before calling Hochgraber with the good news.
Hochgraber said she plans to replace her 4-ft. fence with a 6-footer. She put a GPS collar with a tracker on Rosie, “and she is always on leash now when she goes out,” Hochgraber said.
“I’m grateful to Lost Dogs Illinois for all the help and support I got,” Hochgraber said. “LDI suggested things I wouldn’t have thought of doing, such as putting flyers up at gas stations and other high-traffic locations. I am also grateful to all the people who came out and helped me search for my baby girl.”
She added that the people who follow the LDI Facebook page were nothing short of “amazing” with all their reports of sightings and notes of encouragement.
“Their support helped me get through 11 days of hell,” Hochgraber said.
by Lydia Rypcinski
Dog and cat owners from across Chicagoland took advantage of the free microchip/ID tag clinic offered by Lost Dogs Illinois and the Chicago Police Department on Chicago’s Northwest Side April 9, 2016.
The three-hour clinic, held at the city’s 16th Police District headquarters in the Jefferson Park neighborhood, resulted in 121 dogs and cats getting chipped and receiving ID tags engraved with the pet’s name and owner’s phone number.
“This is like buying an insurance policy to keep your pet safe,” said Kathy Foley, who brought her rescued Rottweiler, Storm.
Logan Square residents Kestelle Wiersma and Scott Foster brought their cat, Elphaba, and dog, Boxcar.
“My brother’s dog got out last spring,” Wiersma said. “He found it in the next day or so, but that fear – we didn’t want to go through that if ours ever got loose, so that’s why we’re here today.”
“William” brought his Pug/Cocker Spaniel mix, Lucy, with him. He said his friend, a Chicago police officer, called him that morning to let him know what was happening.
“I’m glad she did,” William said. “My family would be devastated if Lucy ever got out and we had no way to track her to get her back.”
Lori and Courtney Jensen drove into the city from north suburban Deerfield with their Chihuahuas, Tigger and Missy. They learned about the clinic on the LDI Facebook page.
“They [Tigger and Missy] try to run away a lot,” Courtney confessed.
“We were at a friend’s house when the UPS guy arrived there,” Lori said. “Tigger went running when our friend opened the front door.”
The Pacheco family – Luis, Sonnet and children – from nearby Portage Park came with their 9-month-old pittie, Samson, and 150-lb. Great Dane, Sasha.
“We saw a flyer at the neighborhood library,” Sonnet said. “We wanted to do this because Samson is a puppy, and puppies like to run. We wanted to make sure he would come back home if he got out.”
Shari Grassmuck, a Chicago Fire Department paramedic who lives near Midway Airport, brought her rescue Dutch Shepherd, Marmaduke. Grassmuck found him “playing with a rock in a mud puddle” one night while on duty on the South Side.
“I think a free microchip event is a wonderful idea,” she said. “A lot of dogs and cats are brought to the fire stations. So many animals get lost, and people either don’t know they can chip them or can’t afford to. “
“If it’s free, they will come,” said 38th Ward Alderman Ald. Nick Sposato. “As elected officials, we can tap our social media networks to get word out about events like this. It makes it easier for people to do right by their pets – there’s no appointment time, there’s no cost to them.”
Sharon Rolek drove an hour from the far Southeast Side neighborhood of Hegewisch to get three cats chipped and ID’d.
“We don’t have anything like this on the South Side,” said Rolek, who learned about the clinic in an email from Tree House Humane Society. “I hope this event inspires someone to do this out my way.”
Rolek may get her wish soon. Police Lt. John Garrido, one of the linchpins of the April 9 event, said that two other city police districts – the 5th on the South Side and the 25th on the Far North Side – have contacted him about holding microchip clinics.
“If there is a need for this kind of service in this area – and there obviously is – then there is a need in every area of the city,” Garrido said. “Sometimes it’s just an issue of cost, and that can be helped through sponsorship of events like this.”
Garrido explained that as the afternoon watch commander for the 16th District, “I see so many dogs that get out and are brought to our station. I just can’t see them getting put down because we can’t find their owners.
“We have a large social media network in this area and post and share pictures of all the dogs brought to the station,” Garrido added. “We figure we get about 60 percent of them back to their owners.”
Lost Dogs Illinois provided the ID tags and engraving machine, which it was able to purchase through a generous donation from Chicago-based Realtors to the Rescue along with other donations.
Dr. Peter Sakas of Niles (IL) Animal Hospital and staff and volunteers from Chicago Animal Care and Control supervised clinical and administrative activities.
“We were very pleased with today’s turnout,” CACC Administrative Services Officer Sue Cappello said. “The 16th District did a great job of setting the event up for us, and we look forward to working with them again.”
Other event sponsors included Aldermen Margaret Laurino (39th Ward) and Anthony Napolitano (41st Ward); Illinois State Senator John Mulroe (10th District); The Garrido Network; The Gladstone Park Neighborhood Association and the Chamber of Commerce; Delightful Pastries; Midwest Dog People; The Puppy Mill Project; Earth Rated Poop Bags; Allstate Insurance: Jaime Morales; RAS Communications; and the UPS Store @Milwaukee/Devon.
To view more pictures of the clinic, click here
By Lydia Rypcinski
What happens when a City funded animal control (City of Chicago Animal Care and Control), notfor profit organization (Lost Dogs Illinois) and a professional hockey team (Chicago Wolves) join together? They put on a Free Health Fair! Over 300 residents dogs and cats received FREE microchips, vaccines and ID engraved tags. Working together keeps families together!
We are sharing this reunion story because many dogs are not reunited with their owners . It comes down to timing issues (owners & finders stop searching for each other, or search in different places at different times), and because many people don’t have the slightest idea how to begin a search. This is exactly what happened.
In a unexpected turn of events, Duke’s owners were found and the family has been reunited! The owners were out of the country and didn’t have international service on their phones. Duke had been in the care of the daughter-in-law when he got loose. Unfortunately, her search efforts were limited and Duke ended up being unclaimed at animal control.
When Duke’s guardians returned from their trip they were devastated. Their baby was missing and they called animal control right away. The wonderful ACO, Dana, took the time to talk to the family and through several conversations, proof of vet records, and a home visit it was determined that this family was very sincere and had been taking wonderful care of their baby before this unfortunate accident.
Today we were able to reunite the family and it was truly heartwarming. They have had Duke since he was a puppy and he had been their baby ever since. His mom sews him clothes and he sleeps in bed with them. The icing on the cake was when they showed us the baby seat they have for him in their car. They opened the driver side door and told him to get in his seat. He jumped in, jumped in the back and hopped right in the baby seat and laid down. My heart melted.
This is a story we hear all too frequently. People go away and leave their pets in the care of someone else and end up getting loose. Please do your research about who will be caring for your pet, make sure you give them instructions on how to keep your pup safe, and contact info for who to call in the event of any emergencies.
Today we were able to reunite a dog with a family that missed him and loved him and in return, we had space to rescue a different dog who was at risk for euthanasia at a kill shelter whose owner passed away and doesn’t have a family.
Note from Lost Dogs Illinois: As Missing Pet Partnership has stated: More education is needed for owners, and for shelters advising owners on matters of lost pets. Improving TECHNIQUE and TIMING are two keys to improving RTO stats!
We want to thank Colleen from Perfect Pooches Adoption Agency and Dana Deutsch, North Chicago Animal Control Officer, for going the extra mile to get Duke back home to his rightful owners and allowing us to share Duke’s story.