Pet Travel Safety II

Rut’s show-dog story happened before microchips were in widespread use, as was the case when this next tale occurred.

The Youngs were travelling in a Class A motorhome across the panhandle of Florida with their two cats, Toby and Alley. An automobile swerved in front of them, forcing them off the road. The RV flipped onto its side and burst into a million pieces. The cats were used to wandering around the motorhome just like they were in their “real”, stationary home. Of course, they were two of the millions of flying objects in the wreck. Witnesses say they were seen running into nearby woods after the accident, so we know they survived that long, with or without injuries.

What happened next adds to the heartache of the incident. When the Youngs were well enough to be released from the hospital they began the belated search for their kitties.

First stop was the county animal shelter, which happened to be fairly close to the scene of the collision. As it happened, one of my former employees, Denise, had become the administrator there. When the Youngs mentioned the kitties’ veterinarian she made an instant connection. Denise continued to call and write to the family for nearly a year after the accident, but no kitties matching their description ever arrived.

The Youngs made untold trips to the Florida panhandle to try to locate one or both cats, but neither ever showed up.

Imagine today, though, when every shelter and nearly every veterinary clinic has one or more scanners to identify pets who have wandered off from home. Even if the cats were picked up by well-meaning pet lovers they might have been scanned by a clinic staff member and reunited with the Youngs.

Instead, they always wondered what ever happened to them after the accident. And that wondering leaves pet lovers with an aching, empty feeling.

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