Group of Council rangers at the Glenfield Road Animal Shelter with a woman and man and their son with their rescued pet.
HAPPY REUNION:  Celebrating the return of Spud, who had been missing since the end of October, (from left) Council Ranger Scott Jenkins, Casual Animal Welfare Officer Ella Hunter, Animal Welfare Officer Courtney Krause, Ranger Ashley Fairbrother, the Sleaman family with Spud, Animal Welfare Supervisor Julie McPhail, and Ranger Jason Maybury.


Shelter reunites much-loved pets with their families

Published: 21 Dec 2023 9:26am

Christmas is a time that celebrates joy, and for the team at Glenfield Road Animal Shelter (GRAS) along with two special families, joy is coming in abundance as pets are reunited with their owners.

Last week two pets, friendly dog ‘Spud’ and sweet feline ‘Basil’ were found after being reported missing for long periods of time. Luckily, both owners had microchipped their respective pets which assisted their return.

Wagga Wagga City Council Regulatory Services Coordinator Claire Hynes says happy endings like these ones make working at GRAS even more rewarding.

“We love being able to call up families with good news,” Ms Hynes said. “It is so wonderful to see pets being returned just in time for Christmas.”

The return of Spud saw Wagga Wagga locals Greg and Sue Sleaman receive a special early Christmas present, after Council rangers found the dog earlier this month.

“Spud had been reported missing to the shelter on 28 October, and his family was frantic,” Ms Hynes said. “Spud is a much-loved family pet and is also deaf. After suffering a break-in at the family home, Spud was nowhere to be found.”

Because Spud had been microchipped, when his family reported him missing to GRAS his microchip could be flagged as ‘missing’ and effectively frozen, stopping anyone else from claiming him as their own.

“When Spud was found, he was taken back to the shelter and his family were quickly notified. When they got there, Spud knew ‘mum and dad’ immediately and gave them huge cuddles and licks. There were tears all around as the shelter staff and Spud’s owners celebrated the reunion,” Ms Hynes said.

Council’s Animal Welfare Supervisor Julie McPhail says December has been a beautiful time for reunions.

“Last week we also had Basil the cat come in after being missing for six weeks,” Ms McPhail said. “He was brought in by a member of the public after the cat appeared at her house near the hospital and did not leave.

“Basil was an adoption from GRAS a few years ago and was microchipped. The owners were contacted who happily came and collected him and now he’s safe at home with his best friend, a Staffy named Lola who was stolen and missing for four months early last year.”

Cat standing on bench
BACK HOME: Basil the cat has been returned to his family after being missing for six weeks.

Microchipping is a vital tool that helps shelters, vets, and other animal workers to return pets to their owners when missing or stolen.

“Cats and dogs need to be microchipped by 12 weeks of age,” Claire Hynes said.

“Microchipping is a simple procedure that can be carried out by a vet or the team at the Glenfield Road Animal Shelter. The chip contains a barcode that holds information supplied at the time of implantation.

“It’s important to keep your microchip information up to date by contacting Council if your details change.”

Your pet can be microchipped and registered in a single visit to the Glenfield Road Animal Shelter.