Microchip Reunites Pair on Opposite Sides of the Country

The staff at HSTB donned sunglasses to send the pair off to California with love and very best wishes.

The staff at HSTB donned sunglasses to send the pair off to California with love and very best wishes.

UPDATE: Tessie and Lauren were reunited at our shelter on Saturday, May 28.

We’re wrapping up Chip Your Pet Month with a reunion story that spans the continent!

Eleven years ago, a 7th grade girl living in California saved up all her money from chores to adopt the dog of her dreams. Lauren and Tessie were inseparable for the next decade, a decade in which Lauren worked to have the money needed to care for Tessie. At the point when Lauren entered college, Tessie needed surgery on her knee so Lauren worked out a payment plan with her veterinarian (that included her cleaning kennels for several months) to pay for the procedure. All was well until circumstances beyond her control forced Lauren to move into a housing facility that did not allow pets. Fortunately, a trusted friend was willing to take Tessie in and Lauren was still able to visit with her.

Things began to unravel when the family caring for Tessie moved to Florida. It broke Lauren’s heart that she would not get to see her best friend anymore, but she believed she would be better off in a stable home. Imagine her shock when she received a call from Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center (HCPRC) saying that Tessie had been found wandering alone on a Tampa highway and a microchip scan showed Lauren was still the registered owner.

Lauren was frantic and emails and calls to the family caring for Tessie went unanswered. In desperation she contacted a local animal welfare group in California to see if there was any way they could help her get to Tampa to reclaim Tessie. She was now living in a home that allowed pets and she felt that it was fate for Tessie to come home. The Animal Welfare group contacted the ASPCA and the ASPCA contacted Sherry Silk at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay. We immediately made arrangements to get Tessie from HCPRC and called Lauren to let her know that she was safe with us until she could get to Tampa.

At 11 years of age, Tessie is full of life and the staff and volunteers at HSTB have all fallen in love with her. When we told her that her momma was flying across the country to bring her home, she got so excited that she broke into a big smile (see photo below). We are thrilled that she will get to be reunited with her beloved human and that the two will spend the rest of their days together.

Local Partnerships, Lives Saved

The Humane Society of Tampa Bay transfers animals from Florida shelters on a weekly basis with the vast majority coming from Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center. Our partnerships with local municipal shelters are very important to us and a crucial tool to saving more lives.

On Monday, May 23, 2016, we transferred 14 dogs and five cats to our shelter from Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center (first 11 photos) and on Tuesday, May 24, 2016 we transferred 12 dogs to our shelter from Manatee Animal Services (last 4 photos).


AnnabelleAnnabelle is a young American Staffordshire Terrier mix who was found nursing her eleven babies along a roadside. We took the abandoned family in and gave them a safe place to rest, heal, and grow. It was obvious from the first moment she crossed our doorstep that Annabelle was a wonderful mother. She was very attentive to her pups, took wonderful care of their needs, and showed a loving spirit towards the staff and volunteers who help care for them. Once her babies were ready to be weaned, they went into a foster home to gain a bit more weight. They’ll be up for adoption within the next week.

Now, it’s Annabelle’s turn to find a loving forever home where she can receive the nurturing she has so freely given.

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