As children, we all dream of having super powers – of being the next Superman or Wonder Woman. But as we grow up, we start to picture more realistic goals for ourselves. Animal lover Ann Burkhardt, however, grew up to be a real life hero. Ann leads a busy life in Downey, California, but that doesn’t stop her from rescuing countless animals’ lives every day! Just last week, she brought home a lost dog named Twinkie, and helped this loving pup find her way back home! Ann didn’t return Twinkie all on her own, though – she credits the dog’s microchip as the real superhero of this story…
It was 11 a.m. on Friday when a collarless dog showed up in the flowerbed at Ann’s husband’s store. Between Ann at home (with a large trash dump nearby) and her husband at his shop in Compton, they have witnessed dozens of animals being let go and abandoned. It is the terrible reality that they live in. Fortunately, Ann and her husband don’t just stand by and watch – they have rescued countless animals and fostered them back to health. So when Twinkie was spotted by a coworker, Ann’s husband had food and water brought to the scared dog.
When Ann heard the news that a lost dog was found at the shop, she pleaded with her husband to bring the poor pup home. He wasn’t hard to convince and, at 5:30 p.m., Twinkie made the trip over to Ann’s house.
The Burkhardts have 4 other dogs and 2 cats (all of which are rescues), so they decided to let Twinkie have the backyard to herself while she adjusted to her new surroundings. While she first seemed nervous and timid, once she reached the backyard, she was rolling around and regaining some confidence! After downing more food and water, Twinkie pulled a pillow off a patio chair and immediately fell asleep on her new bed.
Since Twinkie didn’t have any visible form of identification, Ann brought her over to her 24-hour vet office to get scanned for a microchip There was good news and bad news: Twinkie had a microchip, but it wasn’t registered to anyone. They did know that it was a Spay4LA chip, but that’s as much as they could figure out. It was 10 p.m. and they didn’t seem to have a way to find her proper home. The vet assistant gave Ann a list of numbers and websites to check for Twinkie’s registration, and the two headed back to Twinkie’s temporary home.
The devoted dog lover spent the night searching the different websites listed for Twinkie’s microchip registration. At 7 a.m. on Saturday, she checked the Found Animals Registry, and finally received the good news she was hoping for: Twinkie was registered with Found Animals and a Found Pet Alert was sent out! Now, all Ann and her family could do was wait.
At 4 p.m., Ann received a phone call from Twinkie’s caregiver, Lucy, and her mom. It turns out that Twinkie had been missing for the past 8 days, and was now 9 miles from home! According to Ann, “Lucy had told me that she was so sick with worry, she didn’t eat for 2 days straight and ended up in the hospital!” Twinkie’s family was so distressed, they prayed for her return every day and posted numerous ‘lost dog’ posts across social media.
It was 6 p.m. Saturday evening when Twinkie’s parents finally showed up to Ann’s home. “It was the happiest dog rescue I’ve ever had,” recalls Ann. “Lucy and her mom would not stop thanking me – they were ecstatic.” Twinkie couldn’t have been happier, either. The young dog kept bouncing all over the place, licking her owners, and jumping for joy! Says Ann: “Her personality really came out once she got her people back!”
Thanks to Ann and the rest of the Burkhardt family, Twinkie was reunited with her family after a long journey gone from home. Ann has cared for so many lost pets, she was overjoyed to finally see a happy reunion. But she couldn’t have done it alone! “The microchip is wonderful…it’s definitely worth it,” she divulges. More than just supporting microchips, Ann has another piece of advice: “REGISTER YOUR PET’S MICROCHIP!” (She requested this be in all caps!) “ Think of how many happy reunions there could be if these microchips are registered the right way.”
To see the recorded reunion of Twinkie with her people, click here.
For more happy reunion stories, check out these posts on our blog:
And to register your cat or dog microchip, sign up for free at the Found Animals Registry. It’s fast, easy, and can be the superhero that gets your pet home safe if they’re ever lost!