STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Sam, a black cat who was lost for four years, was reunited with his owner Jenny Bisson through the help of a microchip.
Sam was brought into the Oktibbeha County Humane Society by two men who found him in the county far away from the Bisson's home.
"This cat came in and he looked just like any of the other hundreds of cats that are brought in," OCHS Outreach Coordinator Sarah Buckleitner said. "The two gentlemen who brought him in mentioned they thought he may have a microchip."
Buckleitner said OCHS's procedure is to scan every animal for a microchip that is brought into the shelter.
"Sure enough he had a microchip," Buckleitner said. "Through that we were able to get in touch with his family, who were absolutely over the moon to find out he was alive and well, and they were totally blown away since it has been four years since they lost him."
Bisson was in disbelief when she got the call saying Sam had been found after being missing for four years.
"I got a phone call, and they were like 'We have your cat. We found Sam,'" Bisson said. "I was like, 'What!'"
OCHS was able to contact and arrange a pick-up with Bisson, who now lives in Biloxi with her husband, and Sam was reunited with his family over the weekend.
"We arranged a pickup, and the woman was crying and absolutely couldn't believe we found him," Buckleitner said.
According to Buckleitner, microchipping an easy and valuable tool in reuniting lost animals with their families.
"Microchipping is really accessible," Buckleitner said. "You can get it done at your veterinarian and a lot shelters and rescue organizations will hold annual vaccination and microchip clinics where you can get it done really inexpensively."
OCHS holds a vaccination and microchipping clinic each fall.
"The amazing thing about microchips is that you wave that wand over an animal, and you have its information," Buckleitner said. "It takes two seconds, its noninvasive and it can't be taken off or lost like a collar can. It basically ensures your animal can get home even years and years after the fact."
Sam's return to his family after four years and over 200 miles shows how successful microchipping pets can be.
"It's just amazing," Bisson said. "Really remarkable."
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