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Cat lost for a year, returned home thanks to microchip

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Carlie Sheridan and Splash getting re-acquainted in their Cold Springs home. Photo by Mandie Sheridan.

Eight-year-old Carlie Sheridan of Cold Springs never expected to see her cat Splash again.

The orange tabby wandered off in July of 2011 shortly after the cat and his family moved from Loyalton, California to their new home in Cold Springs.

Carlie was four-years-old when she adopted Splash on the same day her brother Bret also adopted a cat named Humphrey. When the cat did not return home, the entire family was heartbroken.

“We searched the local shelters, talked to neighbors, but there was no sign of Splash anywhere,” Carlie’s mother Mandie Sheridan said. “After awhile we began to accept the fact that Splash just wasn’t coming back, especially when you consider the rough terrain surrounding our home.”

When the Sheridan’s phone rang last week, almost exactly one year after Splash disappeared, the last thing they expected to hear was that Splash had just been found in Sun Valley by Animal Control Officer Marie Busselman from Washoe County Regional Animal Services.

“At first we didn’t believe it, we thought someone was pulling our leg,” Mandie Sheridan said. “Carlie was so excited that we couldn’t get into the car fast enough.

“We drove down to Animal Services on Longley Lane, and sure enough, there was Splash. Carlie was thrilled!”

Splash is home now because Splash has a microchip.

“The story of Splash and Carlie is a wonderful illustration of why we so strongly believe in the value of microchips and urge every pet owner to make use of them,” Washoe County Regional Animal Services Manager Barry Brode said. “Microchipping is your pet’s best chance of getting back home if it ever becomes lost.”

A microchip is a small, electronic chip enclosed in a glass cylinder about the size as a grain of rice. The microchip is activated by a scanner which receives information about the pet’s owners and home from the chip. In many cases, microchipped pets can be scanned in the field and returned to their homes without ever having to be brought to the shelter.

Regional Animal Services offers microchip implants for only $12. Microchips are also available through local veterinarians. All it takes is a simple injection, and registering your pet online, for the microchip to serve you and your pet for the pet’s lifetime.

“You need to get your pet microchipped,” Mandi Sheridan said. “Our family would not be sharing this wonderful story if Splash had not been microchipped by the Humane Society when we adopted her.”

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