The importance of ensuring pets are microchipped has been highlighted yet again with the happy reunion of a cat with his owner after a separation of almost two years.
Three-year-old Mozart wandered off from his Norwood home just before Christmas in 2021 – and didn’t return.
His owner Marc Boote described the loss as “traumatic” and after attempts to find his much-loved pet failed, he feared the worst.
Luckily for both of them, Mozart was microchipped.
According to RSPCA South Australia spokesperson Carolyn Jones, many of the stray cats turning up at animal shelters are likely to have owners who dearly want them back, but without microchips or any other identification on them it is impossible to reunite them.
“Whereas half the stray dogs that come to us are microchipped and therefore able to be returned to their owners, only around four percent of the stray cats have microchips,” Carolyn said.
“The only way for owners of these cats with no ID to get them back is if they happen to see them on our stray animals’ page – and then they have five days to claim them before we begin looking for a new home for them.”
RSPCA SA is keen to promote a one-day only free cat microchipping event organised by Lost Pets of SA, in collaboration with PETstock. This Saturday, 18 November, owners can have their cats microchipped for free under a program called goZEROSA. Anyone wishing to take up the offer is required to book online – www.gozerosa.com.
“This great initiative is especially needed now, with the cat vaccine shortage meaning our shelters are no longer taking in cats without proof of them being vaccinated within the last two years,” Carolyn said.
A police officer found Mozart wandering the grounds of Government House in the city on Monday November 6th and took him to the Adelaide Animal Emergency Centre at Kurralta Park, who contacted the RSPCA.
RSPCA SA Rescue Team Leader Nalika van Loenen then made contact with Marc via the details on Mozart’s microchip, stored on the DACO (Dogs and Cats Online) database.
“We can’t stress enough the importance of having your cat microchipped and making sure the details on DACO are kept up to date, so if your cat does wander off and is picked up as a stray, he or she can be returned to you asap,” Nalika said.
As for Mozart’s living arrangements, they have now changed.
“He’s an indoor cat now, and we’re working on cat-proofing our pergola so he’s got an outside run,” said Marc.
“I’m just so grateful he’s OK and home again and I urge people to make sure their cats are microchipped, because I’d never have got Mozart back if he didn’t have that means of identification.”
“He recognised me immediately.”