LEXINGTON, Ky. — A lost dog found in Lexington was recently reunited with its owner. Seems like a simple story, right? But this dog was in the Bluegrass State, nearly 2,500 miles away from its home in Washington state.
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They say dogs are man’s best friend. It’s why Tyler Zimmerman brought home his then 7-month-old coonhound, Kimber, in 2020.
“Picked up, drove her all the way back home, sat her in the front seat of my truck and ever since then she’s been riding shotgun with me,” Zimmerman said.
But his time with Kimber was short-lived. Less than a year after adopting her, the coonhound was stolen right out of his front yard in Washington State.
“Looked all around town for her, couldn’t find her. I thought the collar being on the ground was like, well I know she can’t get out of that collar and she can’t slip it and I figured somebody took her,” Zimmerman said.
After eight months of searching, Zimmerman gave up hope. But a few weeks ago he received a call from the Lexington Humane Society.
“I was like, this is kind of weird, so I answered it,” Zimmerman said. It was news he never thought he’d hear.
“I was like wait, you have my dog Kimber?” Zimmerman said.
Kimber was found on the side of the road with no collar by a veterinarian who works for the Humane Society. Like they do with all lost animals, they scan for a tiny device, a microchip. It traced Kimber back to Zimmerman.
“So what we do, we would call HomeAgain and then HomeAgain would give us the name, address and emergency contact,” said Jai Hamilton, an animal cruelty investigator at Lexington-Fayette Animal Control.
After being treated for a leg injury, Kimber was ready to fly the 2,500 miles home.
“We went to the airport, picked her up and let her out of the kennel and she recognized me like you can’t believe,” Zimmerman said.
Hamilton said this two-year-in-the-making reunion would not have been possible without a microchip.
“If an animal comes in here and doesn’t have any ID and nobody comes in here looking for the animal, then they go for a health and temperament evaluation. If they pass that, they’d go up for adoption,” Hamilton said.
Now, the two friends are making up for lost time.
“She will not leave my side. She’s all love and loves on everybody,” Zimmerman said.
Hamilton says a micro-chipping procedure feels like a shot and does not hurt animals. A microchip procedure is fairly affordable, only costing $26 at the Lexington Humane Society.