Microchipped moggie’s epic journey
A cat which went missing for five months was eventually found on the other side of the Waitemata¯ Harbour, thanks to being microchipped.
Earlier this year Botany resident Ann Voykovich’s then 1-year-old cat Ollie went missing one rainy day and wasn’t seen for the next five months.
When Ollie was identified by a vet he was about 30 kilometres from his home on the other side of the Waitemata¯ Harbour in Takapuna.
Microchipping cats has been a hot topic with Auckland Council proposing in its new $307 million pest eradication programme that cats will be defined as pests if they’re not microchipped.
Under its new programme to rein in pests and protect ecosystems and threatened species, cats without microchips found roaming in sensitive environments will be killed.
Gareth Morgan is backing Auckland Council’s plan too. The Opportunities Party leader has long argued for stricter rules around cat ownership in order to better protect native birds.
While Auckland Council’s focus was to help ecosystems, Ollie’s story showed there were
‘‘I didn't give up hope we'd find him one day.’’
Ann Voykovich, Ollie's owner
other benefits to microchipping cats.
If Ollie hadn’t been microchipped he would have been lost forever, Voykovich said.
‘‘I didn’t give up hope we’d find him one day. He’s a very, very important part of the family,’’ Voykovich said.
Ollie’s inquisitive nature meant he would often get into cars and have a sniff around.
‘‘That’s the only way we thought he could get from Botany to Takapuna. How else could he get across the harbour bridge?’’
When the vet in Takapuna phoned Voykovich said she couldn’t believe it: ‘‘I went screaming through the house, we jumped in the car and took off.’’
According to the New Zealand Companion Animal Council, 44 per cent of the country’s households have a cat compared with 28 per cent with dogs.
From 2011 to 2015, microchipped cats increased from 12 per cent to 31 per cent. In comparison, 71 per cent of dog owners microchipped their pet.
Auckland Council biosecurity manager Phil Brow said cats were a danger to the survival of numerous threatened species including black petrel, Cook’s petrel, dotterels and kiwi. Globally, cats had contributed to 14 per cent of modern bird, mammal and reptile extinctions, and 8 per cent of critically endangered birds, mammals and reptiles globally were threatened by cats.
When Ollie was identified by a vet he was 28 kilometres from his home on the other side of the Waitemata Harbour in Takapuna.