UPDATE NOVEMBER 25, 2007
We found Heidi's owners! Her name is actually Java. We called AVID a couple more times for additional information. Quite honestly, they were not very helpful but from the bits and pieces of information we squeezed out of them regarding the microchip provider and veterinarian in Massachusetts, we did some Googling and phone calling and found Java's vet! The owners had been calling there asking if anyone had found Java and had left their new phone number. Turns out the owners had moved to NY but while visiting relatives in Elizabeth, NJ, Java got the gate open and escaped from the yard and ended up being picked up in Union. The owners had been calling their vet because they mistakenly thought since their vet implanted the microchip, they needed to give him their new contact information. We set them straight so they now know they need to do that with the microchip company. The daughter in the family had written her letter to Santa today and in it she wrote: "Please Santa, bring Java back home." Santa listened and Java is going home! The entire family is thrilled to have her back.
Heidi had been found running the streets with an invisible fence shock collar on and was taken to the shelter.
Heidi also has a microchip. The animal control officer at the shelter tried to track down the owner but the registration information was outdated. The address was in Boston, MA. The cell phone number was disconnected. The owners no longer worked at the places of employment listed. The animal control officer even called every surrounding town trying to track the owners down and came up with nothing. Nobody ever came to the shelter looking for Heidi and she had been there 9 days.
We took Heidi into foster care. Older dogs do not do well at all in shelters, nor do they stand a chance up against the much younger dogs. We called the microchip company to get some background information on Heidi, information we normally have to guess at. So we know from her microchip registration that she is a chocolate lab mix, her date of birth is December 1994 and she is spayed.
Heidi is a very sweet girl. Don't let her age fool you, she is very spry and active. We thought she was several years younger until we found out her date of birth. She loves to play with toys and is a tennis ball fanatic. Give her a tennis ball and she will endlessly amuse herself by giving it a shove with her nose, then pouncing on it, over and over again. (Heidi has been in her foster home just a few hours - the younger resident dogs have gone off to nap and Heidi is still playing with that tennis ball!) Heidi rides beautifully in the car, was great for her much needed bath, and gets along very well with other dogs.