azz, a Cocker Spaniel, has been reunited with her owners thanks to her microchip, having been found dumped in an ambulance over 50 miles from her home.
Jazz disappeared from her family home in Powys, Wales, last year. Her devastated owner, Emma Darling, 45, and her family, were determined to find Jazz. Emma contacted Petlog, who Jazz’s microchipped is recorded with, and her vets to alert them. She also put up posters, shared on social media and looked every day for Jazz for months – but heard nothing.
Then, out of the blue, eight months later, a vet’s practice in Wolverhampton – over 50 miles from Powys – called Emma, after a black Cocker Spaniel had been handed into them by an ambulance worker, who had discovered a dog in the back of the ambulance out on shift. They scanned her microchip, which confirmed it was Jazz and recorded to Emma’s up-to-date contact details. So Jazz was finally reunited with Emma and her family.
Emma commented: “Jazz just disappeared that day. At first we thought she had got out, but she had never done that before. The next day we started to think maybe she had been stolen as she hadn’t come back.
“The first three months I literally trawled missing/stolen dog social media groups and selling sites, and shared the dog lost poster anywhere and everywhere. We were so worried about how she was being treated, whether she was being fed and if she had a dry, warm place when it was cold.
“I was determined to find Jazz. I couldn’t eat and felt like my head was about to explode every day. Some days I just cried. My two daughters were so upset, it was absolutely heart-breaking. We felt so sad for so long.
“When my phone rang that day… Never in a million years did I think the vet was going to tell me they had Jazz! They had scanned Jazz and been able to contact me because of her microchip.
“It turns out Jazz had been dumped in an ambulance while the crew were tending to patient. They heard a noise in the back and went to investigate, and there was Jazz.
“Alex who works for the ambulance service and found Jazz in the vehicle really was an angel! That night, when she had a break from her shift, she took Jazz home and bathed her and looked after her all night until the vets opened the next day. Jazz was wet and tired, with algae on her coat, so Alex thinks she may have been dumped in the nearby canal.
“Jazz was quieter and tired the first day we got her home, but she’s been back to herself ever since. I honestly can’t believe what happened. It took me a while to not cry every time I mentioned Alex when I told Jazz’s story – she truly is an angel, I will always be so grateful to her.
“We didn’t realise – and most people don’t either – about how many dogs go missing or are stolen, and the reality of the situation, until we were living it. My advice to other owners would be to check your microchip details and make sure they’re up to date, just in case the worst happens and to keep your pet safe.”
This month marks National Microchipping Month, organised by Petlog, the UK’s largest lost and found pet database, to encourage owners to microchip their pets and ensure their details are up-to-date, and keep more of the UK’s much-loved pets safe.
Bill Lambert, spokesperson for Petlog, which is run by The Kennel Club, commented: “While Jazz and Emma’s story had a happy ending, so many others end terribly with devastating repercussions. No one ever expects it to happen, but during this year’s National Microchipping Month, we are urging all owners to microchip their pets and check that their details are completely up-to-date, so that they have the very best chance of being reunited with their four-legged family member.”
A microchip is the size of a grain of rice which is inserted under the skin at the back of an animal’s neck. It permanently identifies pets and connects them with an owner’s contact details, which are held on a database like Petlog, enabling vets, local authorities and animal charities to scan the chip, match it to the owner’s details and reunite lost and found pets if the worst happens. Of course, microchipping can only work effectively if an owner’s contact details are up to date with a database.
Currently, it’s a legal requirement for dogs to be microchipped in England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland. The UK Government has also recently announced that microchipping is set to become compulsory for cats in England next summer.