When his dog disappeared in November of 2005, Kenny Stackman was heartbroken. The Miami, FL resident was visiting relatives in Hixson, TN during the Thanksgiving holiday when his adopted dog Brandy broke free of her leash and ran.
“She got scared when my cousin hugged me,” Stackman said. “Brandy darted out into the dark.”
Stackman and his family conducted a long term search for the dog, putting up fliers and contacting local shelters. There was no sign of her to be found. Stackman says he eventually returned to his Miami home feeling hopeless.
“I drove home alone and wasn’t so happy,” he said. “Brandy had been mistreated when I got her, so she was afraid of people, except for me.”
More than five years would pass before they would see each other again.
An unexpected call from McKamey Animal Care and Adoption Center in Hixson at the end of April came as a complete surprise to Stackman. A quick scan of a dog dropped off at the shelter had revealed Stackman’s contact information stored in Brandy’s HomeAgain microchip. A family in the area had taken Brandy in, thinking her a stray. They never thought to have her scanned.
“I was told that Brandy had been in a loving home [and that] the person who brought Brandy into the center had to give her up,” he said. “I thank him from the bottom of my heart for taking good care of her.”
Karen Walsh, executive director of the McKamey Center, said all animals that pass through the center are scanned for microchips. “We call it an ID for life,” she said. “The process is lifelong. A collar can be changed.”
Stackman made the trip to pick her up some time ago, and says the two have bonded again. “She is wonderful,” he said. “I rescued another dog after Brandy went missing. They get along like sisters.”
Stackman admits that he does have his work cut out for him: while she was in the care of her adoptive family, Brandy was overfed, and doubled in size. “Back in 2005, she was about 30 pounds. When I got her a few weeks ago, she weighed about 65 pounds,” Stackman said. “She looks like a little pig, but I’m so happy to have her back.”