Fifteen-year-old Maggie went on a little adventure before the RSPCA returned her home

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The owner of a collie-cross who wandered off during a walk has urged all pet owners to get their beloved animals microchipped.

Amanda Devlin’s mother was walking 15-year-old Maggie (pictured left) in Barnet, where she lives, when the crossbreed disappeared on 24 March, prompting 48 hours of frantic searching and worrying.

“Mum turned around to lock the front door and Maggie vanished,” Amanda said. “We went out searching for her, called the dog warden and all the local charities. We knocked on doors, asked local dog walkers and went on It was horrendous.”

Unbeknownst to them, Maggie had wandered just up the road where someone tied her to some railings outside a petrol station in Northway Circus. She sat, waiting patiently in the rain, until a builder who was working nearby spotted her and went into the petrol station shop to enquire about how long she had been there. When he realised that she’d been waiting for hours, he took her home with him to Greenwich and called the RSPCA.

Inspector Callum Isitt collected her and took her to RSPCA’s Harmsworth Hospital for a check-up. Here vets scanned her and found her microchip registered to the Devlin family.

Maggie, who was rescued from the National Animal Welfare Trust by the Devlin family at just six-months-old, had been microchipped by the charity as a pup.

“I’m a big fan of microchipping,” Amanda said. “People need to be reminded of the importance of getting their pet microchipped and also of keeping their contact details up-to-date.

“I’m glad the law has changed.”

Amanda was reunited with Maggie on 26 March and is thrilled to have her home where she belongs.

“We have two stories of two dogs with two successful outcomes – because of microchips,” Amanda explained. “My mum’s dog, Daisy, escaped from the garden and was missing for two weeks. A family took her in and took her to the vet where she was scanned and, luckily, she was chipped.”

The RSPCA advises all pet owners get their animals microchipped, including dogs, cats, horses and rabbits. Microchipping acts as an identification programme. Each chip has a unique number and each number is logged alongside the owner’s contact details, so it’s important that the details are kept up-to-date. This means that if your pet goes missing or is stolen and is later found, he can be scanned and you can be contacted.

From 6 April this year, it will be a legal requirement to have your dog microchipped – under the Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2015 – and to keep registered details up-to-date.

This law will not cover other pets, such as cats, but microchipping is strongly recommended.

Amanda added: “I’m so thankful to the man who rescued Maggie and who took her home and looked after her, as well as to the RSPCA for reuniting us with her.”