Earlier this month, an Ojai resident brought a lost cat in to the Humane Society of Ventura County. The cat was immediately scanned for a microchip to see if it was in the system. To our surprise, the cat was chipped, and our staff soon learned that her name was Bella. The staff didn’t know, however, that Bella was about to be a part of an unbelievable reunion story.
Thanks to Bella’s microchip, we learned that she was an 8-year-old American Bobtail cat. Our staff also discovered that she was reported missing over a year ago. Luckily, the microchip implanted in Bella had accurate contact information and our adoption counselors were able to quickly contact her owner, Sarah.
Sarah has had Bella since she was born. Bella (above left) shown here as a kitten and with her two litter mates (above right).
Sarah was shocked and relieved when she received the call that Bella had been found. “I knew she was alive. I just had a feeling,” Sarah said after coming in to the shelter to claim Bella. “She’s a survivor. She’s been hit by a car before, she’s been taken by a coyote before, but she always finds her way home."
A local Ojai resident, Sarah was surprised to find out that Bella was discovered just a few blocks from her home. “She didn’t go far. I can’t believe she was so close all this time,” said Sierra (above), a close friend of Sarah’s who accompanied her to the shelter.
The emotional reunion between Sarah, Sierra, and Bella was truly unforgettable. It was obvious Bella recognized Sarah and Sierra right away, as she went right up to them and purred. “We just can’t wait to bring her home,” both Sierra and Sarah said.
This reunion is a perfect example of the importance of microchipping your animal. According to the AVMA, a study of more than 7,700 stray/lost animals at shelters showed that only 21.9% of animals without microchips were returned to their owners. Stray/lost animals that were microchipped, however, were returned to their owners 52.2% of the time. Microchipped cats specifically were returned to their owners 38.5% of the time compared to the 1.8% of those not microchipped.
The HSVC offers affordable microchipping services at the shelter, located at 402 Bryant St. in Ojai. Due to the current COVID-19 crisis, we are no longer performing microchipping services at this time. For all your microchipping FAQs, please visit the AVMA website. For more information on pricing and microchipping services at the HSVC, visit our website at https://www.hsvc.org/microchip or call the shelter at 805-646-6505.