Microchip Reunites Dog and Owner after Two Years

If your dog disappeared back in June of 2013, you might think you’d seen the last of him. After all this time, Paola Perez certainly thought so. Imagine her surprise when County Animal Services called Saturday to say it had found her Chihuahua.

In fact, Perez thought they got it wrong, they didn’t really find her Papi. Fearing the worst, Perez and her niece headed to the County’s animal care facility in San Diego.

“Oh, my God, that’s him! I started crying, I couldn’t believe it,” said Perez. “He knew me, he was jumping on me.”

Years ago, when Perez had taken Papi to the County animal care facility in Bonita for vaccinations, she was told to consider a microchip for the little dog. It cost $10 but it would be a lifetime investment in case her dog ever got lost. Perez got the microchip for Papi, just in case.

Wouldn’t you know it, the seven-pound brown and white dog disappeared from the family home in Bonita by squeezing through a small hole in the fence. Despite posting fliers, knocking on doors and calling the Bonita facility, there was no sign of Papi.

Fast forward two years, and Perez is now living in Normal Heights. A small 8-year-old dog is brought into the County’s facility in San Diego and scanned for a microchip. Thanks to the information on the microchip, the two are reunited 90 minutes later.

“I’m very thankful to the lady who recommended the microchip,” said Perez. “I think every dog needs to get it. It’s just amazing how it can work after two years, just amazing how they can track me down.”

“A microchip is the best way to reunite animals with their owners,” said County Animal Services Director Dawn Danielson. “The chip itself is smaller than a grain of rice and getting one doesn’t hurt the animal one bit, yet it’s made all the difference in bringing hundreds of lost pets and their owners back together again.”

County Animal Services offers microchipping from 1 to 3 p.m. every Thursday at all three of its facilities in Bonita, San Diego and Carlsbad. There is the one-time fee of $10 which includes the registration.

Meantime, Papi is thrilled to be back with his owner and his old friend, another Chihuahua named Ariel.

“I’m so happy that they (County Animal Services) helped me gain my little companion back,” said Perez. “I just never thought it was going to happen, being reunited after two years.”


Tracy DeFore is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact