Animal Control Worker ‘Puts on Detective Hat’ to Reunite Cat Missing 11 Years with His Family

In a remarkable turn of events, the saying, “If it’s meant to be, they’ll come back to you,” rang true for Derek the cat and his family. After their feline companion disappeared 11 years ago, a Florida family received an astonishing call informing them that their beloved pet had been found, all thanks to the efforts of an animal code enforcement officer collaborating with Jacksonville’s Animal Care and Protective Services (ACPS).

ACPS shared the story on their Facebook page, explaining that a kind-hearted individual had discovered a sick cat and promptly reported the situation to animal control. Animal Code Enforcement Officer Alfredson swiftly responded to the call and collected the ailing feline.

During her investigation, Officer Alfredson discovered that the 13-year-old cat had a microchip, but unfortunately, the information registered on the chip, including the contact details, was incorrect. Nevertheless, Officer Alfredson was undeterred by this setback and donned her metaphorical detective hat, determined to uncover the cat’s true identity.

“The team at ACPS is trained to utilize all available resources when researching microchips,” the agency emphasized on social media.

They added, “She managed to ascertain that the microchip had been implanted by Jacksonville Humane. So, she reached out to our friends at JHS and obtained the owner information they had from 2010.”

Despite the fact that the phone number associated with the owner was no longer in service, Officer Alfredson persisted in her mission to locate the cat’s family. ACPS explained, “Officer Alfredson utilized the address provided by JHS to search JEA records and discovered a different phone number linked to the address. Did this number belong to the owner of the cat named Derek from over a decade ago?”

Officer Alfredson refused to give up hope. She left a message for Derek’s owners, describing the cat in ACPS’ care and providing details on how he could be reclaimed. To everyone’s astonishment, “magic happened.” A few hours later, a woman named Angela arrived at the shelter, eager to bring home a cat she thought she would never see again.

“Angela was shocked to learn that Derek had been found and was eager to reclaim him!” ACPS revealed. “She informed us that Derek had been a beloved pet of her children during their childhood, and the kids were devastated when he went missing. All of that changed thanks to a microchip and Officer Alfredson’s determination to locate Derek’s owner.”

The ACPS post went on to say, “Derek now has the opportunity to live out his life in the place where he was raised, surrounded by a family that continues to adore him to this day.”

Angela took to the comments section of the ACPS post to provide an update on Derek’s life after being reunited with his family. She shared a heartwarming image of her son and Derek when they first adopted him, expressing, “Derek is doing great and fitting in well with our other cat, Cedric. We are overjoyed and feel incredibly fortunate to have him back.”

She followed up with another image of her son and Derek on the day of their reunion, showing how they had both grown older but still shared the same love and affection.

Animal lovers expressed their excitement in the comments, with one person writing, “Wow! I’m so happy for Derek and his original owner! And kudos to Officer Alfredson!” Another individual commented, “That’s a heartwarming story!! It brought tears to my eyes. Thanks to the officer who never gave up on finding the kitty’s owners.”

ACPS seized the opportunity to remind pet owners to microchip their furry family members and ensure that their microchip information is kept up to date.

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