Lost dog finds his way home
A dog surrendered to Animal Welfare League NSW in February was reunited with his owner last week after being lost for almost two years.
Owner, Eric Ruka had been scanning dog websites looking for his lost Staffordshire Bull Terrier named Kuni. The family moved houses two years ago and believed that Kuni had become disoriented in the new environment and had escaped ‘to go home’.
“We hadn’t had a chance to update Kuni’s microchip details and we were devastated when he went missing,” Eric says.
Delighted to be reunited with his canine friend after all this time, Eric said he and his family never stopped looking for Kuni who he had had since he was a pup.
“Every week, we would scan all the animal welfare and shelter sites, to see if Kuni was listed as found or available for adoption,” he says. “It was only by chance that we saw him on the Animal Welfare League NSW website.
“I was not even sure that it was Kuni from the pictures on the site, but as soon as we came into the shelter and saw that big white dog in the distance, I knew it was Kuni,” Eric recalls.
And when Eric blew their secret whistle, Kuni’s ears pricked up and he became excited to see the familiar face – his ‘dad’.
This is not the first time escape artist Kuni has gone missing. Despite high fences and locks on the gates, Kuni escaped while under the supervision of a neighbour when the family was attending a funeral in New Zealand about three years ago.
“We hear stories about dogs that go missing all the time,” said Animal Welfare League NSW Chief Inspector Ian Hughes; “but not often do we get to see a happy ending when the two are re-united.”
Inspector Hughes suspects that Kuni may have been taken in after escaping from his backyard and was kept as a watchdog or pet. “It was only when Kuni escaped a second time did he end up at one of the local pounds,” said Inspector Hughes. “It was lucky for everyone that Kuni was then surrendered to us at Animal Welfare League for rehoming.
“People often find strays and do not want to take them to their local pound because they may be put to sleep,” Inspector Hughes concedes. “People need to remember that because a dog is on the street it does not mean that the owner does not care for the dog, someone may simply have left the gate open. The pound or animal shelter is the first place that people look for their lost dog and is essential that anyone who does find a dog to contact their local pound so that it can be reunited with its owner.”
One local council estimates that over 150,000 dogs and cats go missing or are stolen from their home each year in NSW. Animal Welfare League NSW encourages all owners to keep their animal microchip information up to date for easy identification and stresses that each pet should also wear a collar and tag for even better identification.