Family whose dog wandered away learns hard lesson about updating microchips

PARKER, Colo. -- An outdated chip could make it hard if not impossible to reunite a family with their lost pet. It’s a lesson a Parker family was forced to learn the hard way.

Courtney Thompson said her 14-year-old black Labrador retriever went missing recently. As soon as they noticed he was gone,  they panicked.

“I called PetSmart, Petco, the shelters, the Dumb Friends League and all my friends. We drove around for an hour or two searching,” Thompson said.

But while the Thompsons searched for Shadow, the Parker Police Department had already picked him up and officers were busy trying to reunite the dog with his family.

The department posted a picture on Twitter and Facebook asking for the public’s help because the dog’s microchip was outdated and had no way of contacting his owners.

“That’s when a friend tagged me in the picture that Parker police put up,” Thompson said.

After hours of searching, she was finally reunited with Shadow thanks to the Parker police post, not the microchip he has had since he was a puppy.

“To know that his chip was outdated was a huge wake-up call. After I picked him up I took him to the vet to make sure nothing happened. They gave me the contact information for his microchip and I called immediately,” she said.

Thompson said it’s a quick update most don’t think about that could be the key to a happy ending.

“Just update it. It could save your dog’s life," Thompson said.

To update a pet’s microchip, the owner should contact the company the chip is registered to. For those who are unsure which company that is, they can ask the vet, breeder or shelter that microchipped the cat or dog to get that information.