AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Lil Man, an 8-year-old Pomeranian, has no idea what's in store for him in the next few days - a long awaited reunion with an owner he hasn't seen for almost half his life.
And it's all thanks to one microchip.
Lil Man was stolen from his owner in Colorado 3 years ago, and somehow made his way to Amarillo, where he was called in to Animal Management and Welfare as a stray last week.
But since Lil Man is microchipped, animal control officers were able to scan him and get in contact with his owner.
"They called her and said, 'we have your dog,' and she was beside herself," said Jena McFall, Executive Director of the Amarillo-Panhandle Humane Society. "We've probably talked to her about 50 times since that call. She is so excited. She has a 10-day-old baby, and she said if she didn't she'd be on the road right now to come get this guy."
Microchips are tiny - no bigger than a grain of rice. But because of that small piece of technology, after 3 years Lil Man will finally be going home.
He'll be boarding a flight Saturday morning to get to his old owner in his new home in North Carolina.
McFall hopes Lil Man will serve as an example of what a difference a microchip can make for a lost dog.
"Dogs or cats, whatever you have, actually we've microchipped some other [animals] - horses and donkeys, so any animal that you have can be microchipped. It goes in the database and if your dog is found and they scan it for a microchip, it comes back to you."
It's a simple process - pay $15 and a tiny microchip is inserted between your dog's shoulder blades.
The chip contains all your information, so if your dog ever goes missing and turns up a shelter or vets office - like Lil Man did - they can let you know your pet is safe.
Collars can break and dog tags can fall off, but microchips will always be with your dog, and will help as long as you keep your information up to date..
If your dog does not have a microchip, the animal shelter can chip your pets any time they're open, no appointment necessary.