Tiger began to show up on Carol O’Connell’s yard 3 years ago. Though tiger would visit from afar he wouldn’t let her near him. Tiger appeared to be very sweet, but he was also very timid.
“He would show up and then disappear for months at a time,” the executive director of the Dutchess County SPCA (DCSPCA), Lynne Meloccaro in New York said. “She fed him but couldn’t get close to him for a long time.”
O’Connell could see that Tiger was going to trust eventually. It took 3 years for O’Connell and her son to gain the cat’s trust. But finally, it happened. Tiger started to approach them and show them affection. Now that O-Connell could get close to Tiger, she was able to scan him for a microchip. He had one and he had a human family!
O’Connell contacted the family, listed as John and Maggie Welz. The Welzes were shocked because Tiger had gone missing 11 years ago. Tiger went missing on Halloween night when he was only 3 years of age. The family put lost cat posters out but no leads surfaced. Finally, they gave up on ever seeing Tiger again. When the Welze Family moved to a new house, they asked the new owners to keep an eye out for Tiger in case he returned. But he never did.
“His family had given up on finding him, and we weren’t even sure they would want him again after all these years, but once they got over the shock that he was still alive, they didn’t hesitate — they wanted him back right away,” Meloccaro said.
Surprisingly Tiger only had an injured eye and a few skin issues. He was underweight but otherwise in good health. “Some people have since come forward and said they had been feeding him for a while over the years,” Meloccaro said. “He survived because enough kind people in the community helped him, though apparently no one was able to capture him and bring him to us earlier. When he was finally caught by Carol and Dan, he didn’t resist and seemed happy to be touched and petted. Maybe he had decided he’d lived on the streets long enough, and wanted to come inside again.”
The family is overjoyed that Tiger is home where he belongs. From the looks of the photos, Tiger is happy about that too.