Rhian Hegarty and SparkleRSPCA Cymru has praised “magical microchipping” – after a cat who had been missing since December was reunited with his owners.

Black cat Sparkle had been missing for eight months before being found only 1.5 miles from his Michaelston Road home in Cardiff.

The RSPCA was alerted after the cat was seen on nearby Hengoed close with an injury to the base of his tail.  Fortunately, the injury wasn’t serious – and a scan of Sparkle’s microchip revealed his owner to be Rhian Hegarty.

Ms Hegarty had earlier undergone a desperate search for Sparkle since he went missing shortly before Christmas – but had all-but given up hope before receiving a call from the RSPCA with the good news on Tuesday (25 August).

RSPCA animal collection officer Fiona Thomas said: “Sparkle is back home thanks to his microchip. After eight months away from home, this story is a reminder of how magical microchipping always gives owners hope.

“We are so glad we could get Sparkle home – and as Rhian and her family now have another cat, we gave them lots of advice about slowly socialising them and ensuring they live happily together.

“Microchipping is such an effective and affordable way to permanently identify your pet. There’s loads of great programmes to help too, including RSPCA Cymru and Cat Protection’s joint-scheme, where eligible owners can get their pet cat neutered and chipped for just a fiver.

“We’d love to see if compulsory for all owned cats to be microchipped, so many more missing cats can have happy endings – just like Sparkle.”

Ms Hegarty added: “I had searched long and hard for Sparkle – putting up posters, and spreading the word throughout the local community; but eventually we gave up hope of ever seeing him again.

“It’s just incredible he’s now back with us – all thanks to the microchip.

“My children cannot believe Sparkle is home – and my eldest daughter, in particular, is so overwhelmed. He’s settled back in with us so quickly.

“We all missed him so much – and after a long search, I had finally caved and we added Luna to our family about six weeks ago. Now we have two cats – and we’re working hard to give them their own space and ensure they live happily alongside one another.

“Microchipping can offer cat owners peace of mind. I’d say to anybody who genuinely cares about ensuring they can find their cat if they get lost, make sure they’re microchipped – as Sparkle’s story shows just what microchips can do.”

There’s more information about the benefits of getting pets microchipped on the RSPCA website.

RSPCA officers have remained on the frontline during the pandemic helping animals like Sparkle. Should you wish to support them with this work, you can donate online.