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Dooley, who had been missing for three years, was reunited with his owner Suzanne Monnes after Animal Control Officer Liz Amendola followed up on a hunch. Image courtesy of Madison Animal Control )
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It is said that cats have nine lives. Dooley, a butterscotch and white tabby cat, may have used up at least a few of his while being lost for the past three years.
Thanks to the sleuthing of Madison Animal Control Officer Liz Amendola, the case of Dooley the missing cat had a happy ending.
Three years ago, Dooley’s owners Suzanne and Jack Monnes had just returned to the shore area, moving back from Florida. They were at their lawyer’s office in Madison, signing the closing papers for their Westbrook home, when Suzanne went to the car to get something and Dooley snuck past her and ran off.
“We put up fliers everywhere, we called the animal control officer and did everything we could to find him,” said Suzanne Monnes, who was heartbroken about losing her beloved cat.
“We never got another cat, but I kept all of his things, his bed and toys and stuff. I would check the [Facebook] page of Forgotten Felines. I had planned on getting another cat, at some point. I figured one would just jump out at me sometime, but none ever did,” explained Monnes.
Now, she is over the moon about getting her kitty back.
“He is such a love. He definitely remembers us and my husband, who has dementia, remembers Dooley, so it has been great for everyone,” Monnes said. “Since he has been home, he hasn’t left my side or let us out of his sight.”
Amendola got a call from a concerned citizen, Jennifer Rooney, on the evening of July 12 about a cat who had been seen scavenging around the Madison Beach Hotel and was in her yard exhibiting behavior like he was lost—lots of meowing and looking around.
“Although cats are considered free-roaming animals and I don’t normally pick them up unless [they’re] sick or injured, this one struck me and I decided to crate him while I checked into him a bit further,” Amendola said. “I couldn’t even wait to get back to the office to start my search, so I pulled over on the side of the road and looked back through a years’ worth of posts, as I normally do when I find a [lost] pet, and didn’t see him anywhere, but I decided to keep scrolling, I just had a feeling...Lo and behold, there he was! He had gone missing in 2016!”
Amendola called Monnes immediately.
“I went to Forgotten Felines, where he was,” Monnes said. “I said ‘Yes, that is definitely my cat’ and then I realized I had him chipped, so Amendola came back and scanned him. I immediately got a message on my phone from AKC Reunite and it was confirmed.”
“You could have wiped me up off the floor. I had totally given up,” Monnes said. “I couldn’t believe that after three years I got my guy back.”
Microchips are about the size of a grain of rice and are encoded with a unique ID number that gets assigned to an individual pet. The microchip is placed between dog’s or cat’s shoulder blades under a veterinarian’s supervision. The implantation is similar to a vaccine injection and can be done quickly and easily.
“Our vet, when we lived and Florida and first adopted Dooley, urged us to get him chipped and boy am I glad we did,” said Monnes, who brought Dooley to Clinton Veterinary Hospital to get a once over. He is reported to be very healthy and in good shape.
Amendola doesn’t think that Dooley survived three Connecticut winters without the help of people, so she suspects that someone was feeding him and he may have been the neighborhood cat or something like that.
“He didn’t seem like he was living feral, he was well fed, in good health and very friendly,” said Amendola.
She added, “So far for me, Dooley takes the cake as the animal that has been missing for the longest amount of time, that I have been able to happily reunite with its owner.
“This is what makes my job great—stories and experiences like this one. It makes it all worthwhile,” Amendola said. “I am so grateful that I got to be a part of this very happy reunion.”
For more information on Madison Animal Control, visit www.facebook.com/MadisonCTAnimalControl.
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