Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Tail-Wagging Reunion for Boy, Purloined Pup; Nassau Deputies Tracked Down Clay Family Using Data from a Microchip

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Tail-Wagging Reunion for Boy, Purloined Pup; Nassau Deputies Tracked Down Clay Family Using Data from a Microchip

Article excerpt

Byline: DAN SCANLAN

The last time Dalton Perry saw Gage, it was about two years ago. The then-Glen St. Mary boy put the young yellow Labrador in an outside pen after dinner.

Then someone purloined the puppy.

Friday afternoon, one day before National Dog Day, 13-year-old Dalton was reunited with a much bigger canine Gage at Nassau County Animal Services in Fernandina Beach. Only problem - whoever had the dog in the interval renamed him Roscoe, according to his worn collar.

With the implanted ID microchip in the dog and work by the Nassau County Sheriff's Office, the Perrys were tracked to their new Middleburg home after two detectives found Gage (er, Roscoe) wandering outside Callahan BBQ on Florida 200 on Wednesday.

"It was good detective work, an act of God and two detectives," Animal Services Director Deborah Biggs said at the reunion.

Dalton was grinning as he hugged his 11th birthday present, back alive and tail wagging.

"He's big," an excited Dalton said.

Dalton received two new Labs for his latest birthday. Now that Gage has been found, it's going to be a busy house, his mother said.

"I couldn't believe it all. It was shocking," Ashley Perry said. "We are trying to make the adjustment now. But we have 3 1/2 acres and my ex-husband has a huge farm, so we have plenty of room."

The two detectives, Dee Gaston and Michelle Christensen, found the dog with his ribs showing through his light yellow fur. They fed him some chicken before Animal Services picked him up. The telephone number on his brass tag was disconnected.

But the dog had been microchipped - a tiny electronic tag injected under his skin that carries a canine's veterinarian information when scanned. A scan led to the Jacksonville veterinarian who injected the microchip, but the phone number for the Perrys was old.

The Nassau County Sheriff's Office didn't stop there and was able to locate the Perrys 40 miles away in Middleburg. Animal center officials e-mailed photos of the dog to the mother, and she confirmed it was hers.

"We have had animals come in with microchips and been able to rejoin them with their owners, but not an animal gone for two years," Biggs said. …

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