As the holidays approach and preparations are being made for gatherings with family and friends, Dane County Humane Society (DCHS) would like to remind pet parents of the helpful services we provide in case your pet sneaks off and becomes lost during the hubbub. These services helped reunite a cat named Charlie with his loving family.
Charlie was brought to DCHS in late August after he was found running around loose in Madison. As with every pet brought in as a stray, DCHS scanned Charlie for a microchip. Thankfully, he had one!
Microchips are one of the fastest forms to help reunite a lost pet with their loving family. DCHS staff put the number associated with Charlie’s microchip into a database and found it registered to someone living in New Mexico. But when they called the phone number linked to the chip, it was no longer in service.
Our staff didn’t give up. They checked the lost pet reports to see if one had been filed about this cat and found an expired report – filed in January 2023. Could this be the same cat?
When staff contacted the person on the lost report, Maria Salvat knew it was her cat Charlie. She adopted him as a kitten in 2010 in New Mexico when she was living there for a short time.
Maria, who returned to Wisconsin in 2012, had just moved to a new apartment in January 2023 when Charlie went missing. “He was hiding in the cabinets. He was scared,” she recalls. “He got out when the back door on the patio was open.”
Maria filed a lost pet report with DCHS and she worked with her building manager to create fliers about her missing cat and put them around the building.
As time passed, Maria says she and her son had dreams of Charlie, dreams that he was home with her again. “I didn’t want to give up hope,” she says. “He’s a fighter. He’s going to keep going. I’ve been praying he was safe.”
Charlie was found about a half mile away from home. His fur had burrs and matting, and he had an abscess on his right cheek. Maria and her son picked Charlie up at DCHS on August 27th.
Thanks to Charlie’s microchip and Maria filing a lost pet report, we were able to reunite them. And our system automatically updated Charlie’s microchip with Maria’s current information.
After being home again for a few months, Maria recently shared this update: “Charlie’s been great! He’s shy of the outdoors and sleeps with me on my bed every night.”
Pets are sneaky and as guests come and go this holiday season, it can create a higher probability for a pet to walk out a door that wasn’t latched property or a gate that wasn’t shut. If your pet doesn’t have a microchip or pet identification tag, you can make an appointment with DCHS to get these services by clicking here.
If your pet already has a microchip but you need to update the information on it or you just want to double check that the information is accurate, you can follow the steps here.
If you lose your pet during the holiday hubbub, you can file a lost pet report on our website here. We also offer tips to help you in your search. Don’t forget to check our found pet database, which includes found pets who were brought to DCHS and those being held by members of our community. Our goal is to post photos of found pets within 24 hours of their arrival at the shelter. If you believe one of these animals is your lost pet, please contact our front office at (608) 838-0413 ext. 100. You may have to leave a message, but we will get back to you within 48 hours.
Finally, if you found a pet, you can file a found pet report here. We also offer a number of tips you could follow to help the animal find their family.