VENETA, Ore. -- When Bethany Bray's chocolate lab Maggie disappeared in December 2008, she and her kids blanketed the neighborhood with signs, desperate to find the dog they'd had for six years since she was just a puppy.
"It was heartbreaking, absolutely heartbreaking," she said, "because we love this dog."
Days, weeks, then months went by.
"Up until 9 months I had hope, but I kind of lost hope afterwards," she said.
For 13 months, Maggie's blanket sat empty. Bray is convinced someone stole the labrador from the yard.
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Now the big sweet brown dog is back thanks to a tiny microchip implanted under the dog's skin.
Here's how it happened:
A week ago someone brought maggie into the West Eugene Animal Hospital with a wound from a dog fight.
The vet scanned the dog's neck, and the microchip imbeded there told the vet that Maggie was reported stolen.
The Greenhill Humane Society microchips every dog that comes to the shelter. They say the inexpensive chip the size of a grain of rice is the easiest way to keep track of your pet.
"I would say 95 percent plus of the animals that are microchipped get returned to their owners," said Cary Lieberman with Greenhill. "Unfortunately not 95 percent of the animals are microchipped."
Bray wants every pet owner to know microchipping is easy and worth every penny of the $39 she paid to have it implanted.
The girl who brought maggie to the vet says someone gave her the dog. The Lane County Sherrif's Office is now investigating the case.