A pet owner was overcome with emotion when he was reunited with his dog Dakota after she had been missing for over three and a half years.
"It's better than winning the lottery," Grant Williams, 57, told Yahoo News Australia. "Winning couldn’t buy you this happiness."
Grant, from Adelaide, explained he had briefly tied his staffy outside his local chemist in Gillies Plains in March, 2020 before she mysteriously disappeared. Despite desperate attempts to locate his beloved dog — offering a $2,000 cash reward and contacting local pet rescue organisations for assistance — there was no sign of Dakota. Not until he received a phone call on Sunday morning.
"I heard a panic, but it was sort of an excited panic. My two parents were at the back step ... they were both trying to tell me at the same time that Dakota had been found."
"Until I got her in my arms I was pinching myself," he said.
Dakota found a long way from home
The staffy was found over 17 kilometres away at the side of the road in Fullham Gardens, and was believed to be a "stray" by a couple who happened to pass by her.
The good samaritans took Dakota to the vet where her microchip was scanned and the dog was thankfully still registered under Grant's details — allowing the original owner to be finally reunited with his pet.
"Microchipping your animals and keeping your information up to date is so, so important," Christine Robertson from Lost Pets South Australia told Yahoo News Australia. "There's an awful lots of dogs and cats in Australia that don't get to go home because they haven't been microchipped... people cannot find their dog if they're in someone's backyard."
It is a legal requirement for all dog owners to microchip their pets in South Australia, and the animal rescue organisation hosts the "biggest microchipping program in the southern hemisphere", Christine said.
It is unknown whether Dakota was taken "maliciously" from outside the chemist or a well-intended person thought she had been abandoned and tried to help, but it's likely she had not been taken to a vet and was living with another family.
Grant was overcome with emotion when he wasreunited with his a, and when asked what it means to have her safely home with him, he simple responded —"Everything."
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