‘Lucky’ stolen dog finds her way home for New Year

A scared dog has been reunited with her owner after being stolen over a year ago, thanks to Battersea.

Jack Russell, Lucky, was stolen from her owners in August 2020 while she was out on a walk. After months and months of searching, her family thought they’d never see their much-loved pet again.

However, in December 2021 aptly named Lucky found herself in the care of the iconic charity after being found as a stray in Wandsworth. Upon her arrival, Battersea staff swiftly checked Lucky’s microchip and soon discovered that she had been cruelly stolen from her owners last year and it wasn’t long before she was back where she belonged in time for the New Year.

Lucky’s owner, Chris Joyce, said of the reunion: “Hearing that Lucky has been found and was safe and unharmed was such an emotional experience. With her being missing for so long I never thought I’d see her again, so to have her back with me is amazing. I’m forever grateful to Battersea for being able to reunite us.”

Battersea has been running its Lost Dogs & Cats Line for over 20 years, with their first call being taken in November 1998. At the end of November 2021, the service had received reports of nearly 3,000 missing pets since the start of the year: up from just 1,902 for the whole of last year.

Steve Craddock, Centre Manager at Battersea said: “Knowing that we were able to reunite Chris and Lucky is really rewarding. Our Lost Dogs & Cats Line has reunited thousands of animals throughout the years, and we continue to be here for every dog, cat and person who needs to use our services.

“We saw an increase in pets being reported as missing in 2021, which could be as a result of the pandemic and the increased population of dogs and cats. If your pet has gone missing, please do get in touch with us and we will do all that we can to reunite you and your pet.”

Luckily Battersea were able to contact Chris as a result of Lucky’s microchip, but if she didn’t have this implanted this wouldn’t have been possible. Microchipping of dogs has been compulsory in Great Britain since 2016, and in Northern Ireland since 2012, yet worryingly just 26% of dogs taken in by Local Authority dog wardens in 2021 had a microchip with accurate details.

Steve continues: “Microchipping is a painless and simple procedure for dogs and cats, and I’d urge everyone to ensure that their pet’s microchip details are correct and up to date- this could be the difference between never seeing your pet again or being reunited should they ever go missing.”

If you have a missing dog or cat, or to make a donation to Battersea, please visit www.battersea.org.uk.