The Labuguen family of Mililani was wrapping up a weekend on Kauai at Hamura Saimin Stand when a black long-haired dachshund without a collar approached Bennet Labuguen and son Bryson Sunday at about 8 p.m.
August is Microchip Madness Month for the Hawaiian Humane Society. Veterinarians across Oahu are placing microchip IDs in pets for $5, a procedure that typically costs about $25.
After no luck in searching for its owner, Labuguen was content to let the dog find its way home. But Bryson, 16, who volunteers with the Society of Prevention for Cruelty to Animals, had other ideas.
"My son didn’t want to leave him on the street," said Labuguen, who found himself buying a pet carrier and bringing the dog back with them to Oahu on July 26.
Back home, Labuguen contacted the Hawaiian Humane Society, which discovered the dog has an implanted microchip ID. The four-legged fella had a name, Ziggy, and an owner, Ron Carvalho of Lihue. Man and dog were reunited on Kauai days later.
"I tripped out," Carvalho said. "I was so blown away when I got the call that he was in Honolulu."
He said he has had Ziggy for about a year and usually lets him run loose. He said Ziggy had chewed off his collar. While the dog has run off a couple of times, he’s returned home before sundown. Just not that time.
"This is just another example of why microchipping a pet is so important," said Hawaiian Humane Society spokeswoman Starr Dods. "There have been many times when an animal has lost his ID and collar."
She said if it weren’t for the microchip, Ziggy probably would have been put up for adoption.
Instead, the Humane Society contacted Pacific Air Express, which agreed to return Ziggy to Kauai at no cost.
"He didn’t ask for a ride to Honolulu, so he shouldn’t have to ask for a ride to go home," said Thomas Ingram, vice president of operations at Pacific Air Express.