Stray dog returns after a year

  • A Jack Russell bitch has been reunited with her owner nearly a year after she first went missing thanks to a microchip

    Louise Phillips from Whitchurch in Shropshire has been reunited with her dog nearly a year after it first went missing.

    Found on a canal towpath in Liverpool, Thimble, a two-year-old Jack Russell bitch was identified by a microchip in her neck.

    Thimble disappeared from Louise’s home on 11 September last year. Despite an extensive search and poster campaign in the surrounding area, Louise and her husband were unable to find any trace of their pet.

    The exact whereabouts of Thimble for the past 10 months remains a mystery, although she had travelled nearly 50 miles to reach the towpath on which she was found.

    A boy and his grandfather out walking their dog found her wearing a collar and lead, sitting on the middle of a towpath in Liverpool. The pair searched the area looking for an owner before taking her home and contacting their local dog warden.

    On 30 July, nearly a year after her dog first disappeared, Louise got the call she had almost given up hoping for.

    “The dog warden was very determined to get hold of us,” said Louise. “He had rung 11 times to try and tell us they had found Thimble.

    “It was strange because that morning I was driving and had thought it was time to take down the missing posters as it had been nearly a year and it was time to move on.”

    Louise admits that after Thimble first went missing she questioned the validity of her microchip.”The only reason we got her back was because of the microchip and since her return I have had our two other dogs done too.”

    Thimble is now safely back at home where according to Louise she is firmly established as top dog in the family.

    Is a national dog register the answer?

    The success of this case has lead to the RSPCA to call for someform of compulsory dog registration.

    Figures published by the National Canine Defence League (NCDL) last week showed the number of stray dogs in Britain had risen for the first time in six years.

    A spokesperson for the RSPCA said: “Thebest way to encourage responsible dog ownership is by introducing a compulsory dog register.”

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