Joey’s Joyful Return Home After Missing Nearly Three Years

Little Joey the dachshund led a happy life at his home in Florida from puppyhood to his age of eight!  The yard of his home provided a large amount of land for him and his fellow canines to romp and relax and even a swimming pool where he enjoyed taking a dip.  But one day in July 2014 a thunder storm came through which scared him enough that he found a spot to escape.  So began nearly three years of distraught coupled with hope for his family.

Shortly after he got out someone sighted a person picking him up and putting him in their car on a street very close to his home.    While weeks and then months of no positive leads to bring him home, his mom Sheila at least took comfort in knowing about this sighting of him being put into a car, vs. the potential fate Joey might have met had he taken a wrong turn in the direction of an alligator rich area close to their home.

Two years passed and no sign of Joey, that is until a few weeks ago, on March 19 to be exact.  Someone had found Joey in an area within 10 miles of his original home.  Not being able to care for the dog, they put him into the hands of someone who took him into the South Animal Care and Adoption Center, run by Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.  It was a Sunday shortly before the facility was going to close, and Sheila’s husband who received the call took them up on the offer to hightail over and bring little Joey home right away to spare them both one more night apart!

In no time, Sheila’s husband was at the shelter, and saw the elation in the face of the person who had brought Joey in to be scanned for a microchip.  Thankfully Joey’s chip was registered and up-to-date with a current phone number leading to this reunion.  A huge thanks goes to the man who ultimately realized the importance of taking the dog in to try to see if his owner might be found … a step that needs increased awareness and involvement by community members.

The Important Role of Those Who Find Stray Pets

What someone does with a pet they find roaming loose can play a large role in how soon and if the pet ever makes it home to their owner.  In Joey’s case, as with many others, his collar and tags were not on.  Sometimes the pet has just been bathed and the collar removed.  Or the pet is in a secure area and there is no history or reason to believe they will go missing.  

A collar and tags not only provides a quick way for someone finding a pet to connect with the owner.  It often serves to some as a signal if the pet has an owner at all, and if they should make an effort to search for one.  Right or wrong in this thinking, it is often the case, and one that all pet owners should recognize. 

If a pet is found roaming, collar or no collar, the finder NEEDS TO MAKE AN EFFORT to find the owner.  Always ASSUME they have an owner that could be frantically trying to find them.  

Here are some steps to follow:

  1. Take the pet into a vet or shelter as soon as possible to have it scanned for a microchip.
  2. Post flyers of a found pet in the area where it was found
  3. Post info about the found pet on and area Lost/Found FB pages, as well as on Craigslist and other tools available.
  4. Learn more about lost and found pets on our page on this topic.

Ironically, Sheila’s first hand experience with a lost pet resulted in her assisting to help reunite another!

While undergoing some medical treatment, Sheila had a conversation with a nurse that led to Joey and then a dog that the nurse had recently found.  Like so many others, the nurse looked at the dog as in need of a new home and care vs. that it could be a missing pet of a distraught pet owner.  Having been on the area Craigslist recently, Sheila mentioned that there were postings of several missing pets that were similar to the dog that the lady had found. Through Sheila’s perspective and direction, the nurse reached out and in fact the dog DID belong to someone who had posted on Craigslist and a reunion was made!

Joey shortly after returning home relaxing with his buddies.

This post about Joey comes at a time when we are launching two new efforts related to lost pets.   One is our new blog “What If … Return to Owner” which will provide us with an opportunity to share efforts and stories about lost pets that are not necessarily tied into microchips and their role in reuniting the pet.


The second is our new initiative UNITE2REUNITE (U2R).   U2R will be a place where organizations, businesses, AND individuals can make the commitment to work together in an effort to reunite more lost pets!

Check out the site to learn more!

Remember to microchip, register,
and keep your contact info updated!

Even if your pet has gone missing and it’s been some time,
you might one day get that miracle call!

To visit the home page for our
Monday Microchip Miracles blog
click here to read other happy reunion tales!

#LoveTagChip YOUR pet.