By CHARITY B. SMITH
Sunday Times Newspapers
WYANDOTTE — A lost dog was safely returned to its owner after being found in the area of 9th and Cedar — barely a block from his home — and turned in to the Downriver Central Animal Control Agency Aug. 5.
Gloria Leedy’s 14-year-old beagle mix, Shiloh, has always been by her side. So when Leedy decided to do some gardening Aug. 5, she thought nothing of having Shiloh loose in her yard.
When she went back into her house she simply assumed he was behind her as he always was. This time was different, however, as Shiloh decided to venture out for the first time. Leedy went about her business for nearly four hours before she realized her dog was missing.
“He always follows me everywhere,” Leedy said. “When I came in from my yard work I thought he was behind me.”
Leedy, 61, originally from Chesterfield Township, has lived in Wyandotte for two years and had no idea where to go to find her dog. She searched her house and frantically looked up and down nearby streets to no avail, before finally turning to Wyandotte police for help.
“He is family,” she said. “I don’t know what I would do without him.”
Wyandotte police contacted Aaron Bertera, chief animal control officer for the Downriver Central Animal Control Agency, who told police he had the dog and to send the woman to the shelter. He said someone would be there for her to get the dog, although it was after hours.
Bertera had been trying to locate Leedy, but was unable to track her down easily as the dog’s tags were out of date and only partially readable, and the dog’s microchip information had not been updated.
“We called the vet hospital in Chesterfield, but they were closed,” Bertera said. “We then scanned for microchip, but the information had not been updated. The chip is just like your mail. If you move your information must be updated.”
Leedy was not aware that a microchip in an animal must be updated.
“I didn’t realize that when you have a microchip you have to update it,” she said. “I thought that as long as he had a chip they could track him to me.”
Shiloh is now a registered pet in Wyandotte, and the information has been updated on his microchip.
“I’m definitely going to remind my family and friends to update their microchips, and remind them of what happened to Shiloh,” Leedy said.
She said she would like to thank the woman who found her dog and turned him in to the shelter.
“I’d really like to personally thank her for taking care of my Shi,” Leedy said. “I’m just thankful that things worked out the way they did.”
“It’s definitely good when a dog comes into the shelter and is taken home the same day,” Bertera said.
(Charity B. Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)