Valley dog reunited with family after 12 years, found 20 miles from home

Sep 1, 2023, 4:35 AM | Updated: 1:25 pm

minion crandall bichon dog...

Minion, a 15-year-old Bichon, was found by Maricopa County Animal Care and Control Officers last weekend after 12 years away from his family. At left is Minion in 2011 and right is the dog reunited with his people and a new dog family. (Facebook)


PHOENIX — After more than 12 years, a Valley family has reunited with their long-lost dog last weekend thanks to a microchip and the work of Maricopa County Animal Care and Control.

The dog’s owner, Skip Crandall, said he was shocked when he was told Minion, who had been mistakenly let out by a maintenance worker in 2011, had been found by an animal control officer and identified when scanned for an implanted microchip.

“My phone rings and it is my wife and she says, ‘Hey, I got a call from Animal Control, and they say they have our dog.’ I am thinking this has to be a prank,” Crandall said on KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Gaydos and Chad Show.

Crandall said at first, he thought the call might be a scam, but when he finally was able to confirm the call was official, and officers arrived at his home with Minion the Bichon, the scene was surreal.

“They came and they took him out of the truck and as soon as he saw us, that tail started wagging,” Crandall said.

Even though Minion is now home he is far from his puppy years at 15-years-old and is in need of care.

“He was in a little rough shape, but we brought him to the vet. We’ve got some work to do to get him healthy, but he’s got a few good years left in him. He’s playing with the other dogs and getting around just fine. Just need to get a little dental work and minor surgery on him,” Crandall said.

Minion was located about 20 miles from the Crandall home but there is no indication of who had cared for him and why he was on the streets.

According to a study by the American Veterinary Medical Association, having a microchip implanted under your pet’s skin more than doubles the chance it will eventually make it home if they are lost or incapacitated.

Microchipped dogs were returned 52.2% of the time, even when they were 600 to 1,000 miles away from home, according to the study.

Dogs without microchips were returned to their families only 21.9% of the time.

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Valley dog reunited with family after 12 years, found 20 miles from home