14-Year-old cat missing for three months

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) recently took in a 14-year-old cat, and as with any cat or dog who comes through ARL’s doors, one of the first tasks for staff to complete is to scan the animal for a microchip. Turns out that the cat was actually a missing cat!

The cat, named Charlie, did have a microchip, and staff immediately took the necessary steps to find and then contact his owner.

Charlie reunited with his owner thanks to his microchip!

When his owner, a Somerville resident, was contacted, he was elated that Charlie was in ARL’s care, and soon made the trip to ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center to be reunited with the cat that he had cared for since he was a kitten.

Turns out Charlie had gone missing in October, and while making efforts to find him, the owner had come to the conclusion that Charlie was gone, but remained hopeful.

Upon being reunited with the senior cat, the owner expressed his gratitude and stated that having Charlie microchipped was one of the best decisions he had ever made.

Being an indoor/outdoor cat, Charlie had gone missing before, and the microchip had always led to a reunification with his owner.

ARL is thrilled that Charlie was reunited with his owner, and this tale once again highlights the importance of having your pet microchipped.


A microchip is a computer chip about the size of a grain of rice, programmed with an identification number unique to your pet.

It is non-toxic, non-allergenic, and will last the life of your pet with no maintenance required.

A microchip greatly increases the likelihood of being reunited with a lost pet – an AVMA study shows 52 percent of dogs with microchips are reunited with owners, versus just 21 percent with dogs with no microchip.

Owner return rates for cats with a microchip is 38 percent versus just 1.8 percent for cats without the chip.

If you adopt a dog or cat from ARL, the animal will go home with a microchip, and ARL recommends all dog and cat owners have their pets microchipped, and to make sure that if you move or relocate to keep the contact information up to date.

Lost Pet?

There isn’t a more sinking feeling than when you realize that your furry or feathered companion might have gone missing.

Whether it’s a door left ajar, a booming thunderstorm, or slipped harness during a walk, our pets can all too quickly slip away from our sight.

Should your pet go missing, it’s important to take immediate action by following these 5 steps to increase the likelihood of a happy reunion with your pet:

    • Call the local Animal Control Officer of the town where you live, and of the town that your pet went missing in. List of Massachusetts Animal Control Officers.
    • File a lost report with ARL either in person, over the phone at (617) 426-9170, or online. This lost report is seen by all three ARL locations. The staff will ask you to provide a photo of your pet.
    • Contact your pet’s microchip company if your pet has one, to notify them that your pet is lost. Be sure to confirm that your contact information is current.
    • File a lost report with every shelter within a 60-mile radius of where your pet went missing. Oftentimes, concerned citizens will pick up a stray pet they see on the side of the road and bring it to a shelter that is close to their destination instead of close to where they found the animal. Visit the shelters closest to you as often as possible to check for new incoming lost pets.
    • Don’t give up! Many pets go missing for months before being reunited with their owners. You will have the best chance of finding your missing pet if you utilize all of the provided tips and continue to search for them as long as you can.