Mike, whose surname is not mentioned in the media, fought to keep Bandit in his divorce settlement. He won and they were the best of buddies.
However, unfortunately Mike lost Bandit five years ago. He ran out of an open door in a thunderstorm and was seen being taken by a stranger into a car.
A resident managed to get the car's license plate number, but according to Mike, the man refused to return Bandit to him, despite several attempts.
At some stage over the years, Bandit had apparently left the care of the man.
The dog turned up at an animal control facility and from there was sent to a shelter called reTails Indy
, which posted the story on its website.
Initially the shelter was calling the dog Harpo, but then staff scanned him for a chip, and found that he did, indeed, have one. Animal control had missed it when Bandit was in their care. What's more, the phone number on the chip was still current.
They phoned Mike, who, it turns out, lives close to the shelter and within ten minutes he was there.
The shelter says on their website, "I identified myself and our organization and asked if he was missing a dog. He stifled a small gasp and I could hear the quiver in his voice, and he said he was missing a dog, who he identified, and had been missing the dog for FIVE YEARS! Mike then asked if I was pranking him. For the life of me, I couldn't think of a more cruel prank, but assured him it was real. Mike asked where he could pick him up. As it turns out, Mike was now living in an apartment only a couple miles from our adoption center, and was on his way there!"
“This is my little buddy,” Mike said, holding Bandit close and fighting back tears. “This is my best friend.”
One important point
is that without a micro-chip, Mike would never have found Bandit
again, making it so important that pets are micro-chipped and registered by their owners.
Abandoned puppy breaks into dog shelter, finds good home