And make sure they are tattooed or microchipped too!
Ace is an older, diabetic and partly blind Alaskan Husky. Recently, for reasons his family do not understand, Ace decided to tear apart the gate in his back yard and dash through the neighbourhood.
In the end, he didn’t really go very far. He was found a couple of blocks away, sitting on a neighbour’s lawn. But it gave his folks hours of worry.
Mark Smurfitt says his neighbours heard a ruckus and saw Ace dash out the destroyed gate at about 11 a.m., while Mark was at work. They tried to catch him, but Ace outwitted them. They didn’t know how to get hold of Mark, so he didn’t know that Ace was on the run until he got home from work in the late afternoon.
He and his son then zigzagged through Richmond, from Steveston to Terra Nova, driving and walking, asking people they ran into if they had seen their dog.
Ace is hard to miss. Alaskan Huskies are generally larger than other Huskies and Ace may be on the high end of even that scale.
While Mark and his son scoured the city, the family posted about Ace’s disappearance on social media and RAPS’ Volunteer & Outreach Coordinator Mandy Lichtmann spotted the post and realized that Ace was the dog that one of RAPS’ Animal Control Officers picked up at 3 p.m. that afternoon. By that time, though, it was 10 p.m. and the RAPS City Shelter was closed for the night.
Mandy and her husband, RAPS CEO Eyal Lichtmann, called Nash Parnell, the Shelter’s assistant manager, and connected with Ace’s dad Mark. Under normal circumstances, Ace would have spent the night at the Shelter and been reunited with his family in the morning. However, after consulting with RAPS Animal Hospital veterinarian Dr. Roey Kestelman, Nash agreed to meet Mark at the Shelter, regardless of the hour, and make sure Ace got home – and his insulin – as soon as possible.
The story has a happy ending, but it could have come sooner if Ace had a microchip or tattoo. If he had, RAPS could have called Mark at 3 p.m. and reunited Ace safely hours earlier. That’s why microchipping and/or tattoos are so vital.
The other crucial lesson Nash wants people to remember is this: If your pet goes missing in Richmond, call RAPS Animal Shelter (604-275-2036) right away! Your animal companion might already be there and missing you!