A South Yorkshire couple had an emotional reunion with their pet cat - one year after it went missing.
Kelly Parker and Shaun Meloy, from Monk Bretton, Barnsley, had given up all hope of ever seeing their black and white pet, Buddy, again after he disappeared on August 24,last year.
But thanks to a microchip, the efforts of cat lover Jilly Bhemra and staff at Abbey Vets in Barnsley, Buddy is now safely back home.
When two-year-old Buddy first went missing, Kelly and Shaun searched the streets for him, put up posters, distributed leaflets, took to social media and contacted vets and the local council but to no avail.
The devastated couple feared the worst and never thought they would see their beloved cat again.
But six weeks ago Buddy turned up in the garden of Jilly Bhemra, who lives in Notton - five miles away from where he disappeared.
When he showed no sign of moving on Jilly took him to Abbey Vets to be checked for a microchip and he turned up on the national database.
She said: “He seemed to be in good condition and when he kept returning over the following weeks I began to feed him, thinking that he must have become disorientated and had wandered away from his home,” said Jilly.
“When he showed no signs of moving on I took him to Abbey Vets to see if he had been fitted with a microchip. To everyone’s delight a pet ID number came up and the vets were able to return him to his rightful owner that evening.”
Tony Duffy of Abbey Vets said: “Thousands of pets are lost or stolen every year and many are never reunited with their owners. However if you have your pet microchipped you have a real chance of finding him again, as was the case with Buddy.”
Kelly said: “When Abbey Vets telephoned me to say that they had identified Buddy by his microchip I burst into tears. I just couldn’t believe that I’d got him back after such a long time.
“No-one knows where he had been during the past year. We can only account for the past six weeks when he first appeared in Mrs Bhemra’s garden.
“When we took Buddy back home he acted like he’d never been away.”