Tribune-Courier General Manager
BENTON– “We never really completely gave up hope of finding him,” said Andee Crisp as she recalled the months that passed since she let her family dog, Parker, outside for a bathroom break and he didn’t return home.
The Crisp’s had just moved to a home with room outside for Parker to roam on Alamo Road in Calvert City. But on a cold early December day in 2010, Parker didn’t return after roaming.
The family immediately posted signs with Parker’s picture at businesses in Possum Trot and Calvert City, contacted the Marshall County Animal Shelter, The Marshall County Humane Society and The Marshall County Animal Watch Program.
“We had been contacted about a couple of possible sightings on Patterson Ferry Road, but when we would go drive the area searching for him, he was nowhere to be found”, said Andee.
As weeks turned into months, the family’s hope faded somewhat and they chose to adopt another dog from the Marshall County Animal Shelter.
Last week, Andee searched the facebook page of the Animal Watch Program as she had done many times since Parker’s disappearance and saw a picture of a black lab she thought could be him. On Thursday, the Crisp’s went to the shelter to be sure.
“He recognized the kids immediately,” said Andee. “He wasn’t so sure with us at first, but he is opening up more and more each day.”
Parker had been taken to the shelter last week by the animal warden after being contacted about a stray dog who had been hanging around the area of Patterson Ferry Road for quite some time. Ironically, the dog had been just one mile from home.
Misti Wagner with the Marshall County Animal Shelter said this is a perfect illustration of the value of tagging pets.
She strongly encourages the use of microchips, but says just writing your phone number on the pet’s collar with a permanant marker can help.
Microchips can be inserted under the skin of a pet with a tiny needle in a veterinarian’s office, which also helps with identification. The chip contains a serial number that is registered with the owner’s name and phone number. If the animal is lost it can be scanned for a chip and quickly returned to the owner.
Wagner said microchips are relatively inexpensive, with most veterinarians charging anywhere from $25 to $35 for the service.
Dr. Bert Johnson in Benton charges $18 dollars and donates all proceeds to the Marshall County Humane Society, according to Wagner.
Wagner also encourages residents who see an unknown animal in their neighborhood to contact one of the county’s shelters or the Animal Watch program.
“We can reunite pets with their owners rather quickly if everyone will report lost and found pets to us,” she said.