Family reunited with pet six months after losing her
A family from Earls Court are celebrating the return of their French Bulldog, Meg, who was stolen from outside their home on July 1.
The Swinscoe family's posters, appealing for the return of their beloved pet were a familliar site on trees throughout Fulham last summer.
But after weeks without a result, they were resigned to never seeing her again and bought another French Bulldog, who they named Coco.
Then to their amazement, they received a call to say Meg had been found ... in Essex.
Meg was found when she was bought by a woman in Essex responding to an online advertisement. When she took her to be microchipped, the vet discovered that she was already microchipped, and she was traced to the Swinscoes.
Mum Sam Swinscoe says: "Meg was less than a year old when she disappeared. We think she somehow managed to escape from our communal gated garden.
" I was distraught and became obsessed with trying to find her, posting online ads and poster everywhere I could think of. My children, Tallulah and Flynn, were so upset. We never found a trace of her and I was convinced she'd been stolen as she was a valuable dog.
" In the end, with much sadness, we had to move on and I bought another French bulldog called Coco.
"Out of the blue on Thursday December 19, I received a call from the microchipping company Meg's chip was registered to. She'd been found at a veterinary practice in Essex where a lady who had paid a lot of money for her, had taken her to be microchipped. I rushed there immediately.
"Seeing Meg again after so long was very strange. She'd grown into an adult dog and seem shy and withdrawn. I shed a lot of tears as did the lady who thought she was buying an ownerless dog. I think I was also in a state of shock and was worried about whether she'd get along with Coco.
" I took her home in some doubt as to what to do - but, as soon as she arrived, it was obvious that her surroundings were familiar to her and she made friends with Coco straight away. Now we're absolutely delighted to have her home."
Mrs Swinscoe took Meg to local vet, Goddard in Fulham where staff were also delighted to see her. A health check revealed that she was a little underweight but otherwise healthy.
Vet nurse Andrew Cox says: "It's wonderful that Meg is now back home but, unfortunately, there are many similar stories with no happy ending - animals that disappear or are brought into us as strays but are not chipped so we have no way of identifying their owner.
" Getting your pet chipped is the best way to protect them. It’s a simple and inexpensive procedure - and really does increase the likelihood that, should your pet disappear in whatever circumstances, you may be reunited - or at least find out what happened."
Mrs Swinscoe says: "Without her microchip, we would never have seen Meg again - so I strongly urge all owner to ensure their pets are chipped I also urge prospective owners to be vigilant in responding to online adverts for dogs.
" The lady who tried to buy Meg was told a false story about her and spent a lot of money trying to buy a dog which had been stolen. In doing so, she was also inadvertently boosting the trade in stolen dogs. If you are looking to buy a dog, please double check that you are buying it from a reputable breeder."
The Fulham branch of Goddard Veterinary Group is at 612 Kings Road and can be contacted on 020 7736 5704.
January 17, 2014