Owner reunites with missing dog after 5 years
Shakira the Siberian Husky (Debra Quackenbush, McHenry County Department of Health / October 6, 2012)
Jackson and her brother Matthew Asbury drove 700 miles from Chatsworth, Ga., and arrived so early they had to wait for the office to open before reuniting with the 6-year-old black-and-white husky with piercing blue eyes.
Then Jackson, Asbury and Shakira had no time to waste, heading about 14 hours back because Jackson had to work tonight and her three children also were anxious to see their long-lost dog.
Shakira was known briefly as Kathy at the Free Spirit Siberian Husky Rescue in Harvard after arriving Aug. 11 from a shelter in Murray County, Ga., when the rescue organization volunteered to take her so the husky would not be euthanized, according to the McHenry County Sheriff's office and the founder of Free Spirit.
Free Spirit personnel realized the dog had a microchip under her skin, and Home Again Pet ID Service was able to identify Jackson and contact her Wednesday, according to police.
Jackson told McHenry County Sheriff's Police the dog had been lost or stolen from Georgia in December 2007. After Jackson forwarded the necessary paperwork, sheriff's police had the dog brought to McHenry County Animal Control.
Karen Ferreri-Miller, founder of Free Spirit, had called McHenry County officials to help arrange the reunion. She said that Free Spirit already had set up an adoption for the dog they knew as Kathy before they discovered the microchip.
Debra Quackenbush of the McHenry County Department of Health said the reunion showed the importance of getting a pet a microchip identification tag, which only costs about $15.
She did not speculate on how the chip was missed at the Georgia shelter but said most vets and almost all animal control facilities have equipment to read the information.
Freelance reporter Amanda Marrazzo contributed.