A missing husky called ‘Murphy’ has been reunited with his family in Bradford thanks to the RSPCA.
He was signed over to an RSPCA inspector who visited a house in Manchester where the owner said they couldn’t look after their two dogs any more.
RSPCA inspector Natalie Avery said: “I took both dogs to RSPCA Greater Manchester Animal Hospital (GMAH) to be checked over and one of the staff said Murphy looked like a dog that was missing.
“We scanned him for a microchip, as we always do, and found that he was, in fact, the dog everyone has been looking for.
“Calling his owners was absolutely amazing. It’s a great feeling when things like this happen. They were overjoyed to see him, it was very emotional.”
Murphy disappeared on Thursday 4 December after slipping his lead on a walk. He was seen being bundled into a car by two men but, despite a number of leads investigated by police, couldn’t be traced.
His theft sparked an internet campaign by owners Andrew Smith and Puiling Ma to try to find him, which generated over forty four thousand likes on Facebook, received celebrity backing from the likes of Bradford illusionist Dynamo and comedian Johnny Vegas and was even talked about by their MP in Parliament.
Murphy arrived at RSPCA GMAH at around 8pm on Thursday night, and by 8.30pm his owners had been called. They arrived to collect him first thing on Friday morning, amid a storm of publicity.
GMAH general manager Ben Faulkner said: “Within 24 hours we managed to reunite him with his owners. We are so thrilled to have been able to help him find his family and there were a lot of tears all round on Friday.
“Working at the sharp end of animal welfare, you often see and hear terrible things that people have done to animals, and to be able to play a part in such a remarkable reunion is just fantastic.”
Owner Andrew said he is very grateful: “We just couldn’t believe it when we got the call from the RSPCA. Even after a few days it’s still sinking in that he’s home.
“I want to say thank you to the RSPCA, who have been brilliant, and I’d like to encourage people to donate to them, and to all the many thousands of people who helped get the message out there.
“It’s been an awful few months and there were times when I didn’t think we’d ever see Murphy again.
“I’d urge anyone whose dog is stolen to make sure it’s reported to the police. I’d urge all owners to make sure their dog is microchipped, it’s so important. It is going to become the law next year to get your dog chipped and I very much hope that Harvey’s Law, a campaign to make it compulsory for all animals killed on the roads to be scanned, also comes into effect.”
Andrew and Puiling are two-year-old Murphy’s ninth owners. They have two other rescue dogs at home. They came across Paddy sleeping in a cemetery with a rope digging into his neck. He wasn’t microchipped and they adopted him from the dog warden when no one came forward for him after 28 days. Monty, another husky, has just come to live with them from a friend of a friend who couldn’t cope with him.
“Paddy was really pleased to have Murphy home, and he and Monty seem to be getting on okay. Murphy was the top dog in the house, and he’s definitely planning on stepping back into that role,” said Andrew.
The RSPCA is a charity that relies on public donations to exist. To help please text HELP to 78866 to give £3 (texts cost £3 plus one standard network rate message).