Pethealth Inc.
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Pethealth Inc.

April 14, 2010 08:03 ET

Firefighters Pluck Lost Dog From Floodwaters

Family reunited with rescued pet thanks to 24PetWatch microchip

DIGHTON, MASSACHUSETTS--(Marketwire - April 14, 2010) - Pethealth Inc. (TSX:PTZ)

Few people searching for a lost dog expect to see their pet on the evening news. But it happened to the Hackett family, whose rescue dog Roxy had to be rescued again – the second time by firefighters, who sent out a crew in a cherry picker to save her from floodwaters in East Providence, 15 miles from the Hacketts' house.*

Three weeks earlier, the family had been happily anticipating Roxy's arrival from an animal shelter in Georgia. "We wanted to give her all the love in the world. The house was ready for her and we'd spent $750 at the pet store," says Bill Hackett. "My wife had taken the children to the playground so I could show Roxy the house, let her sniff around, get comfortable and have something to eat, and then let the kids come home and meet her."

But when he returned to the house after picking up the, mixed-breed dog, "the unthinkable happened."

Roxy had been too timid to enter the house, "so I tugged a bit on the leash, just a little bit," says Hackett, "and she pulled right out of the collar and was gone." Neighbors tried to keep an eye on her while Hackett attempted to entice her back, but she disappeared into the rural area around their home, about 60 miles south of Boston.

The family posted signs "at every intersection up to eight miles away, and I called every agency within a 25-mile radius, and even Boston animal control. I literally was so traumatized by it ... I didn't do much work that whole week," says Hackett, who works at home. It didn't help that their three children, aged 3, 4 and 7, were asking: "Daddy, are we going to get her back?"

With the northeast in the grip of the most severe flooding to hit the area in more than 100 years, the outlook for Roxy was grim. National Guard troops were activated in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island to deal with emergencies. In Dighton, says Hackett, "we had 17 inches of rain in 36 hours."

After every downpour, the family went out to replace water-logged signs. Hackett drove to Boston to pick up a humane animal trap and "I even talked to a wild-animal trapper to see if he had any tips."

During his search, Hackett found that their experience was not unusual. "Every shelter I went to knew of a minimum of two rescue dogs who were on the lam," he says. "If they don't get loose the first day, it's usually within the first two weeks."

"These dogs don't know you, there's no bonding or anything … it's imperative that rescues and shelters use slip collars and put in microchips."

Meanwhile, says Hackett, "I was driving myself crazy. I thought, nobody's going to catch her, she's so shy of people."

The Hacketts never gave up on Roxy, but decided to adopt another rescue dog, this time a 9-year-old mixed breed, about the same size, named Sophie. "I came home with her about 4:30 in the afternoon. The very next day they called and told us they'd found Roxy," says Hackett.

"So, we sat the children down on the couch to tell them … and my 7-year-old said, "I know where this is going! We're going to have two dogs!"

Roxy had been taken to a shelter in East Providence, which found the 24PetWatch microchip that had been given her at the shelter in Georgia and called the Hacketts to tell them their search was over.

"It all comes down to the microchip," says Hackett. "When I picked Roxy up initially, I had our name and phone number on a nice tag in case something happened. Well, she came out of the collar – and there went the tag."

Today, says Hackett, the two dogs are the best of friends. "Roxy does everything Sophie does. They even fall asleep together."

As for Bill Hackett, he recently delivered a cake to the East Providence firefighters, because "they really pulled out all the stops."

* See video at http://www.abc6.com/news/89596382.html

About 24Petwatch Microchip ID

24PetWatch has been dedicated to your pet's safety since 2003. With a comprehensive line of exclusive products and services designed to enhance and protect your pet's life, 24PetWatch gives you and your pet access to health, happiness and peace of mind. If you have found a lost pet with a collar tag, call us at 1-866-597-2424 immediately. We'll also report the pet as found as well as contacting the owner so they can be reunited with their pet. If there is no collar tag or if it is unreadable or scratched, take the pet to your nearest animal shelter, vet or rescue group so the pet can be scanned for a microchip. For more information about 24PetWatch Microchip ID and 24PetWatch Insurance programs, visit www.24petwatch.com

For Veterinarians - 24PetWatch is well known for providing comprehensive pet identification, microchipping and pet insurance services to pet owners. 24PetWatch wants your customers to know that we offer low cost microchips and a lost pet recovery service. This will provide outstanding value to you and your customers alike. Call us today at 1-866-597-2424 for a free personal quote for your practice.

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