Dec
19
2016

Gigi, the toy poodle, went missing over nine years ago after a home burglary. In early December, Reba Hunter found her wandering around Roseville, Calif., and decided to take her to her veterinarian at AAHA-accredited Citrus Heights Animal Hospital. Hunter knew the dog needed to be treated and hoped that she could potentially take her home as a new pet.

Eric Brickson, hospital administrator at Citrus Heights, said Gigi was in rough shape. She had matted fur everywhere, infections in both ears, and in generally didn’t look terribly well cared for. In addition to getting her started on treatment, they scanned her for a microchip. Brickson said he believes that veterinary practices, as a rule, scan every animal that walks through their door. “And if they don’t, they should,” he added.

They found a chip and referenced it through the AAHA Universal Microchip Lookup Tool, and found that the registered owner, Sally Butters, had reported her missing almost a decade earlier. Once they got ahold of her, she was at the clinic within an hour and a half, meeting with Hunter and Gigi, now thirteen years old. Butters brought pictures of Gigi when she was younger and the original poster she had made almost ten years before.

Gigi originally had belonged to Butters’ mother before she passed away. Brickson said he thinks that the reunion holds even more meaning for Butters for that very reason. Butters expressed shock that she had found Gigi again, “I wouldn’t believe that she was alive,” she said. She added that her birthday is December 20, which makes the reunion a birthday miracle.

After the reunion, the story cycled local news channels and someone placed a call to a local FOX affiliate saying that they had purchased Gigi in front of a Walmart almost ten years before. She lived about 20 minutes away from Butters and said that Gigi had gone missing on Thanksgiving.

Brickson said he wanted to share the store because of all of the negative stories that have been dominating the news cycle. “I feel like people needed a win,” he said.

The story is not only heartwarming, but a great reason for veterinarians to encourage their clients to get pets a microchip. “This is exactly why we microchip,” Brickson said. 

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