By CASEY NEILL
ADAM Haines is urging pet owners to update microchip contact details after battling to have his frail, 19-year-old dog returned to his care.
City of Casey rangers picked up Buddha, a lhasa aspo, from the Animal Emergency Centre in Hallam and took him to the Cranbourne pound.
He went missing from behind closed gates in Mr Haines’ Keysborough front yard about 7pm on Sunday 25 January.
“We spent hours searching for him,” he said.
“He can’t walk the few metres back from the park. He’s partly deaf, he’s partly blind.
“He’s been to the vet a couple of times in the past three months, because we’re monitoring now – we’re monitoring for that time that he can’t go on any longer.
“I knew someone had picked him up.”
Mr Haines encountered trouble retrieving his beloved pooch when Buddha’s microchip details were linked to his former partner.
“My ex and I split up 17 years ago and he was microchipped 18 years ago,” he said.
“When you’re young and you’re living life you take for advantage your little mates.
“Losing him and not being able to find him was one thing, but to know he’s been locked away because of my irresponsibility…
“I think this is something that really needs to get out there. People need to be aware of what could happen.”
They were finally reunited last Wednesday.
“His brother passed away a couple of years ago at 16,” Mr Haines said.
“In the year 2000 I arrived in Melbourne with the clothes I was wearing and my two dogs.
“They were my boys and they were with me.
“They were the only reason I kept going through the bad times.
“He means more to me than most people do.”
Greater Dandenong regulatory services manager Peter Shelton said pet registration was compulsory for all Victorian dog and cat owners and had been for many years.
“Registering your pet is important for many reasons,” he said.
“It not only increases your chances of being reunited with your pet if it goes missing, but it also supports animal management and education programs in the City of Greater Dandenong.”
Mr Shelton said the council’s primary aim was always to return the pet immediately to its owner.
“This can be better achieved by ensuring your pet is registered, wearing its tag and is microchipped,” he said.
All pet registrations are due for renewal on 9 April and anyone who fails to register their pet could be fined $295.