Dog Reunited With Owner After Missing For Two Years (Diesel’s Journey)

Mar 23, 2022 | Dogs, Lost pets

On Sunday, January 20, 2013, Diesel the staffy was found running along a major Gold Coast road. A passer-by feared he’d be hit by a vehicle and took the time to hand him into Animal Emergency Service’s Carrara hospital. Diesel was examined and scanned for a microchip before being put to bed with some dinner and water. Fortunately for him, one of the phone numbers on his microchip was current and a message was left for the owners to contact our hospital to collect their uninjured pet.

What a surprise for the Skinner-McDonald family! They were quick to call us stunned and emotional to hear he had been found. They believe he had been taken from their yard two years ago while they were out. They spend months contacting vet clinics and the local pounds, as well as door-knocking their neighbourhood without success. After all this time, they were shocked and found it difficult to believe he had finally been found.

Diesel at Animal Emergency Service Carrara

When a lost pet is presented to us they are immediately scanned for a microchip. Once located, the serial number is lodged with Central Animal Records and the owner’s details are retrieved. As long as the information is up to date, owners are usually contacted within the hour.

The initial phone conversation with the Skinner-McDonald family was as much a shock for us as it was to them. They told us about their heartbreaking story and requested time to organise logistics as they had recently relocated to Mackay. We offered our assistance, which was graciously accepted, and reached out to our online community for help reuniting the family.

Diesel with a help sign

Within 12 hours up to 50 offers of help had been received. Some offered to drive Diesel to Mackay themselves, others offered donations, and many shared the story via social media. An animal lover named Hayley engaged in heavy negotiations with a contact she had at JetPets and struck a deal. In no time, Diesel was booked to fly from Brisbane Airport to his family on Wednesday. The Skinner-McDonald family was beside themselves when they heard the news.

On Wednesday Diesel, and his entourage including one of our Senior Veterinarians and a Nurse were picked up by limousine for transport to Brisbane Airport. There, he was met by a representative of JetPets for his flight home. It was a very emotional reunion when Diesel was finally in the arms of his family who had a surprise waiting at home – a big juicy bone!

Diesel reuniting with his familyPhoto Credit: Tony Martin for the Daily Mercury

There are many people we would like to thank for helping with Diesel’s amazing journey. Central Animal Records, JetPets, Seven News Brisbane, Surfers Paradise Limousines, The Gold Coast Bulletin, The Mackay Mercury, and the thousands of pet-loving Facebook supporters.

Finally, but certainly not least, we would like to thank and congratulate all our team who went above and beyond caring for Diesel and ensuring his safe return. Our team of dedicated professionals prides themselves on excellence in client and patient care, and this story is a testament for all their hard work.

If your pet is ill or injured, contact your closest Animal Emergency Service hospital or your local vet immediately.

We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples as the Traditional Custodians of the lands, waterways and skies across Australia. We pay our respects to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and Elders past and present.