A 13-year-old Yorkie mix named Sgt. Pepper has been reunited with his rightful owner after seven years, multiple caretakers, and more than 1,000 miles.
Pepper was six when he went missing from Laurie Davies’ Florida yard back in 2014. This past Monday, he was discovered wandering down a rainy street in Charlotte, Michigan. The soggy pooch was taken in by Eaton County Animal Control, where he was routinely scanned for a microchip. This led straight to Davies, who rushed to Michigan to hold her boy again.
Like any good dog mom, Davies began a frantic search seven years ago when Sgt. Pepper went missing. She soon discovered his photo in a “Found Dog” posting on Craigslist, but when she reached out, Davies was told that Pepper had already been “claimed by someone who was not his real owner.”
Despite this devastating setback, Davies refused to give up. She filed a police report and notified the microchip company that Pepper had been stolen. Although seven years passed with no trace of her dog, she never gave up home. She kept his microchip current, updating her contact information as recently as February 2020.
And now that diligence has finally paid off!
“While we don’t know every detail of Sgt Pepper’s journey, we did discover how he made it to Michigan,” animal control officials said in a statement. “Sgt Pepper had been living with a family for the last 5 years who were unaware of his microchip and stolen status.”
“We are grateful for their understanding that Sgt Pepper had to be reunited with his original family, and we ask that people please be sensitive towards their situation,” the department said. “This incredible story is a testament to the value of microchipping your pet and keeping your contact info current.”
Sgt. Pepper’s current microchip info meant that Eaton County Animal Control was able to contact Davies “within minutes of having the dog in possession.” Stunned and overjoyed, she hopped a plane to Michigan.
Although Davies sees changes in Pepper after 7 years—he’s frailer and his eyesight is going— she says he still recognized her when they were reunited.
“Oh it was amazing,” Davies told CBS4. “Absolutely amazing. I’m telling you I got tears in my eyes, that’s for sure.”
Sergeant Pepper has also been reunited with his long-lost brother and another family dog. Davies says he has already made himself at home and is fitting in well.
“He may only have a couple of years left in him,” she said. “But it’s nice to have him have comfort with people who he loves, and I love him.”
Laurie and Sgt Pepper are one lucky pair, but there is one key factor that made this wonderful story possible.
“This story also serves as a reminder why it is SO IMPORTANT to have all found dogs scanned for a microchip,” Eaton County Animal Control said in their statement. “It is also a great idea to have any new dog you acquire scanned for a microchip just in case, especially if any portion of the pet’s history is unknown.”