The story of Meatball or why you should get a microchip for your pet!

·6 min read

In this column we often talk about the importance of having identification on pets; the most secure form being a microchip. The following is the perfect example of how a chip helped reunite one very lucky cat and her owner.

Back in March 2019, a gentleman came into the shelter looking to adopt a feline friend. “Meatball” stole his heart with her gorgeous grey coat and kitten like antics. At 6-months-old, she had been brought in as a stray from Salem County and was suffering from a minor case of malnutrition and dehydration.

Meatball was friendly, which meant that someone had been caring for her and socializing her, but something in her circumstances caused her to be reported to the animal control officer. Whatever happened to cause that, her luck seemed to have changed when Ryan walked in and fell in love with her.

Fast forward two and one-half years. Ryan’s circumstances change and in September of this year, he moves from South Jersey to Ojo Sarco, New Mexico. The day he arrived at his temporary residence, his beloved girl got loose and ran off into the wilds of the Sangre De Cristo Mountains. His searches proved fruitless and after a few weeks, he was convinced that she had become the victim of one of the many types of wild predators that live in the area.

More: Bird feeders provide entertainment for you and your pets

More: What should you consider when buying a gift for your pet or someone else’s pet?

Certainly, a domestic cat that had lived all of her adult life inside a house would have no chance against the mountain lions, bobcats and coyotes of the wilderness.

A few months later Ryan was settled into his permanent New Mexico residence, a couple of hours away from where he had lost Meatball, when he got a call from a veterinary clinic just outside Ojo Sarco telling him that they had a cat with a microchip registered to him. The clinic put him in touch with the lady that had found the cat and Meatball’s story began to unfold.

After being attacked by some unknown animal, Meatball limped into the yard of a house about a mile away from where she had escaped from Ryan. She was petrified and wouldn’t immediately approach the lady that lived there, but the woman fed her and worked on getting closer to her over a period of time. Finally, when Meatball figured out that she could trust this kind woman that was caring for her, she was whisked off to the vet to evaluate her injuries. It was during this visit that a scan was done to check for a microchip, and low and behold, the little indoor cat from South Jersey had survived the wilds of New Mexico’s mountains and was about to be reunited with Ryan.

Little Miss Meatball probably used up one or two of her nine lives while she was living amongst the lions and bears, but she’s back livin’ large and safe with Ryan in Albuquerque thanks to a microchip that was implanted when she was adopted.

Shelter needs: Canned, pate’ style cat and dog food, soft dog treats, canned chicken, peanut butter, cat nip, kong toys, liquid hand soap & sanitizer, paper towels, gift cards for grocery & pet supply outlets.

Shelter event/photos with Santa: It’s time to schedule an appointment for your pet’s photo with Santa. Santa will be at the shelter from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 12.

Four different festive backgrounds will be available. Select one or add extra backgrounds for an additional fee.

Cost is $15 for one person or animal in the photo or $20 for more than one person or pet.

Fee includes one emailed photo. If you would like to receive all of the photos taken during the session, you can purchase a SJRAS photo passport, a 4-gig USB card, for $20. The photo passport can be reused for any future SJRAS events which offer photo opportunities.

Human family members should wear a mask but may take the mask off for the photos.

Appointments are requested. Walk ins will only be accepted if space is available.

To schedule an appointment, visit https://southjerseyregionalanimalshelter.org/event/photos-with-santa-2.

Shelter address: 1244 N. Delsea Drive in Vineland.

For information about fostering, visit https://southjerseyregionalanimalshelter.org/volunteer_main/foster.

To submit an adoption form for one of the Pets of the Week or another animal at the shelter, visit https://southjerseyregionalanimalshelter.org/forms/adoption-questionnaire.

To volunteer, email the volunteer coordinator at volunteers@sjras.org.

For SJRAS information, call (856) 691-1500 or visit southjerseyregionalanimalshelter.org or SJRASVineland on Facebook.

Smooshy
Smooshy

DOGS OF THE WEEK

Hanson is a handsome, 2-year-old pit bull terrier. He is an active dog that will need good daily exercise and work on basic doggy manners. Hanson is young, smart and ready to learn.

Jasper is a great dog! He is a super friendly, well-mannered, 9-year-old American Bulldog. Jasper walks nicely on a leash and sits when asked. He is a real gentleman. But that is not Jaspers only side, he is also fun loving and comical and loves to chase toys and beg for treats! This is a good dog in need of a loving forever home.

Millie is a great pup! She is an adorable 3-year-old medium-sized mix breed. Millie is well-mannered, smart and fun. She has it all, good looks, personality and a good heart. This is a great dog waiting for a loving, forever home.

Smooshy is an adorable 3-year-old bully breed. He is a chunky, low to the ground guy with lots of smooshy wrinkles. He is cute, fun, playful and has loads of personality.

Blaire is a very pretty, 1.5-year-old mixed breed. She is a tall girl and weighs in about 70 pounds. Blaire looks like she may have some pointer and some pit in her background. She is a nice dog that came to us as a stray and seems like she hasn't had a lot of training. Blaire is smart and independent. She will respond very nicely to good consistent positive training. Blaire is also quite strong and will need work on leash walking. This beautiful young dog will need some work, but she will reward you with years of love.

Jazz is a sweet, petite, little lady who was adopted from SJRAS in 2014. She came back to the shelter because she escapes her fenced in yard. She digs out and climbs over the fence. Jazz is a greyhound mix and her hunting instincts are high, so no cats or any kind of small animals for this girl. Jazz did live with a female dog of her same size and they were best friends.

Cali
Cali

CATS OF THE WEEK

Pretty Cali is hoping for a family for Christmas!

Charlie Chaplin is a playful boy, who will definitely entertain you. He had a rough start in life, but is ready to find his family.

Hansel and Gretel are a sweet brother and sister pair. They are playful, but gentle. They need a home for the holidays. They started their lives outside but now they want to be inside cats.

Carly wants to be your best friend. She will always be by your side. She loves being a single cat in a single quiet household. She will not jump on the counters or try to eat your food. She just wants pets and love.

Julia asked Santa for a family for Christmas! Maybe you could help make her wish come true!

Send community news and event items to lvoit@gannett.com. Help support local journalism with a subscription to The Daily Journal/Courier Post/Burlington County Times.

This article originally appeared on Vineland Daily Journal: Microchip identification can help reunite you with your pet