The Cape of Good Hope SPCA has reunited Damian Leeuw and his pet dog, a Husky named Storm, after more than a year. Leeuw believed that Storm was lost forever after he disappeared from their Pelican Park home at some point during 2019.

Leeuw suspected that his dog was stolen and insists that there is no way the dog got out of the yard by himself.

“My neighbours witnessed them taking my dog, putting Storm into a car and driving off, they couldn’t get the license plate in time,” he told the SPCA.

Leeuw said he immediately logged an SOS with indentipet — Storm was equipped with an identifiable microchip when he was three-months-old — and he waited for a long time and received no response.

“Eventually, I had to accept it, he was gone,” said Leeuw. “I was broken, there was nothing I could do. I drove around looking for Storm.”

Leeuw then started spending more time with his other dog, a Pitbull named Tyson who was also distressed by Storm’s disappearance. Both Storm and Tyson were stray dogs that Leeuw took in as puppies, according to the SPCA. The dogs grew up together and Tyson seemed lonely without his companion.

A year after Storm disappeared, the SPCA tried to contact Leeuw via telephone but he was not at home and did not have his cellphone on him. Fortunately, his partner Taryn, who was home, answered the phone.

“I literally just walked into the house when Taryn said ‘Do you want to hear the good news?’,” said Leeuw. “The SPCA found Storm, you need to go collect him,” was Taryn’s reply.

Leeuw, blown away by the news, sprang into action. He grabbed his ID and quickly removed the baby seat from the car and immediately headed for the SPCA.

“It [is] so remarkable to have him back and also to see his reaction when I got to the kennels,” said Leeuw. “I thought he would behave evasive or not remember me, but he came towards me, sniffed me and immediately started whining.

“I knew then, Storm knows exactly who I am, we going to be okay,” said a very relieved Leeuw.

The dog was picked up by one of the SPCA’s collections officers in Zeekoevlei, according to Keegan Wolfaart of the Cape of Good Hope SPCA.

“We scan all animals that come to us for microchip identification,” said Wolfaart. This was how they discovered that Storm was chipped and the identity of his owner.

Wolfaart said that Taryn was “beside herself with excitement” when she received the news of Storm’s recovery and that she promised to give Leeuw the fantastic news as soon as he got home.

The Cape of Good Hope SPCA also treated Storm — giving him a shiny coat and boosting his overall wellbeing.

The SPCA microchips the animals that pass through its lost and found centres to prevent them from going missing again and to ensure that the animals can easily be returned to the care of their owners.

However, Wolfaart says that happy reunion stories like this are not always possible because some pet owners do not microchip their pets, which makes it very difficult to identify ownership and trace lost and found animals.

Ideally, pets should be made identifiable with, both, the microchip and collar.

The Cape of Good Hope SPCA recommends the following tips to safeguard your pets:

1. Have your pet microchipped and ensure your details are up to date

2. Download the identipet mobile app and report your pet as lost to their pet rescue network

3. Write your contact number on the inside of your pet’s collar

4. Sterilise your pets to reduce the risk of them wandering or being stolen

5. Notify the SPCA, surrounding animal welfare organisations as well as Veterinarians 



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