The right tool reunites lost pug with family

Community service officer Sean Bus giving a thumbs up sign with Wilson the pug
The day after officer Sean Bus received a microchip scanner, he put it straight to use.
By Kelli Harmon

Even the most thoughtful gifts can go unused, but not always. When community service officer Sean Bus of the River Forest Police Department in Illinois received a free microchip scanner during a training session, he brought it with him in his squad car the next day.

Each department represented at the session received a scanner in part because the training, put on by Best Friends and sponsored by the Cook County Animal Control Department and the Chicagoland Humane Coalition, covered the importance of officers getting lost pets back home rather than bringing them to the shelter.

Staff from the Best Friends national shelter support team travel around the country giving training workshops to animal services officers, and a key component is helping lost pets return home instead of impounding them at shelters.

Magazine covers

Full of inspiration and positivity, Best Friends magazine is full of uplifting tales, gorgeous photos and helpful advice.
When you become a member of Best Friends Animal Society by making a donation of $25 or more to the animals, you’ll receive Best Friends magazine for a year. Inside, you’ll read about what Best Friends is doing to save the lives of homeless pets nationwide. 

Microchips and scanners save pets’ lives

More than half of pets entering shelters each year arrive as “strays.” But if more officers in the field can find out where pets belong and bring them home, those numbers could be significantly reduced.

[Long-lost dog reunited with family after six years]

Less than 24 hours after Sean left the training event, he was out on patrol and received a report of a pug wandering around on his own. He pulled out the new microchip scanner to run it over the friendly pup, and … beep. A number popped up on the display screen.

Using that information, Sean was able to contact the dog’s family and reunite them with their pug, whose name is Wilson. The family’s best guess is that someone left the gate open and Wilson decided to stroll out for a walk. That’s how Wilson became the first of many lost pets who will skip the shelter altogether, thanks to an officer having the right tool for the job and the willingness to use it.

This article was originally published in the July/August 2023 issue of Best Friends magazine. Want more good news? Become a member and get stories like this six times a year.

Smiling fawn colored pug on a leash whose tongue is out

Help pets where you live

Be a part of the change by working to help pets at shelters in your community.
Silhouette of two dogs, cat and kitten

Help save homeless pets

You can help end the killing in shelters and save the lives of homeless pets when you foster, adopt, and advocate for the dogs and cats who need it most.

Let's make every shelter and every community no-kill by 2025

Together, we're creating compassionate no-kill communities nationwide for pets and the people who care for them.

Let’s be friends! 

Connect with us on social media to stay in the loop about the lifesaving progress we’re making together.  

Facebook logo    Instagram logo    icon