On March 16, 2008, Shawn, Kate and son Zackary Gizmo, their beloved little Yorkie/Maltese, mix ran out the door unexpectedly and disappeared into the night. A gift for their son on his last birthday, Shawn, Kate and Zackary were heartbroken as their nightmare began.
After searching for hours, the family returned home hoping that when morning came, little Gizmo would be waiting for them. But morning came and still no sign of Gizmo. They begin the process of leaving flyers and photos, filling out lost reports at their local shelter, vet's office and businesses.
By Wednesday, after searching everyday, Shawn contacted RVAS hoping that by expanding their search resources little Gizmo could be found.
Within one hour a Pet Alert! was issued, flyer's distributed and veterinarians contacted notifying the public that there is a dog lost and his family is frantically searching for him. In the meantime, RVAS contacted Kate to further assist them with their search, learning that Kate remembered seeing a green mini-van slowly driving back and forth by their home and wondered if we thought that Gizmo could have been stolen.
But it would turn out that little Gizmo was spotted by a neighborhood child, who remembered seeing the little dog running in the neighborhood. Shawn immediately began posting more flyers, when a passer-by walked up to him and said, "I think I found your dog". Ecstatic, Shawn was ready to bring Gizmo home, but unfortunately, Gizmo had escaped from her as well. They exchanged telephone numbers Shawn returned home defeated.
Shortly after ariving home, Shawn, Kate and Zackary receives a telephone call that Gizmo had returned to the woman's home and was waiting to be picked up. Away they went...and after many hugs and tears, Gizmo was reunited with his beloved family who had missed him so much.
"We love happy endings", said RVAS Director, Linda R. Blakely, "but what was missing in this case was a lost and found pet program at the shelter they first visited."
The woman who had found the dog prior had notified the shelter every day hoping that someone had placed a "lost pet" matching Gizmo's description. But the flyer and photo that Shawn had left at the shelter was posted and the match was never made. Gizmo spent three days away from home longer than he needed to.
Microchipping your pet is one of the best ways to make certain you that your pet is returned to you should it become lost or found. But shelters have a responsiblity to make those matches as well. RVAS' Pet Alert system offered Kate, Shawn & Zackary everything they needed to find Gizmo. From ready made flyers, sent directly to vets & shelters, distribution to our volunteers who network with their family, friends and co-workers, and our Lost Pet tips and follow ups encourages people to "not give up".
"It's important to keep their spirits up and their hope in place. Dogs have been known to be reunited with owners weeks, even years after coming up missing," Linda said. "Animals are first with us, always have been, always will be."
Read Kate, Shawn & Zackary's testimonial:
We're so thrilled that we have such a great happy ending to this terrifying week! I already posted that you're organization is beyond wonderful and suggested that others donate and come to you with their animal needs.
This was interesting though, my husband said that the lady that found him had worked at the <local shelter> and she called there every day asking if anyone had reported a yorkie mix missing and they told her no, they had no information. But my husband had turned everything into this shelter Monday morning first thing, and we there every day looking for him. Had they have attempted to help we would have had him back Monday or Tuesday. It just goes to show which organization is out there to help reunite pets and their families and who isn't.. Your organization was right there ready to help, and did everything humanly possible to help us. I really hope that we can somehow help you guys get the word out to go to you directly because you guys are the real heroes in all of this.
Thank you again for everything . your tips and your prompt action helped us keep our chins up and find Gizmo! And you were right, he was less than 2 miles from home this entire time!