WHEN their cat had been missing for five months the Garner family thought they would never see her again.

Olive disappeared from her home in Hill Head, near Fareham, in January.

Yet amazingly she has been returned safe and well to her family.

It is all thanks to her microchip.

Now animal welfare experts are urging other owners to get their pets microchipped to save future heartache.

Jenny and Mike Garner and their children – Isabelle, 3, and Thomas, 14 months – were shocked to get a phone call from Stubbington Ark RSPCA rescue centre in Fareham to tell them that Olive had been brought in.

The moggy, who is about to turn seven, had been found by a couple a mile and a half away in Mays Lane, Stubbington.

The centre was able to contact the Garner family using information on her chip.

Now Jenny and her family, who live in Casper John Close, are urging more animal lovers to get their pets chipped.

Jenny, 30, who is expecting the couple’s third child, said: “I would say to other pet owners to definitely get your cat chipped, or any animal. It’s such an easy thing to do.

“I was completely shocked she’d been found. She’d been gone five months.

“She had been seen crying behind a fence for two days, just meowing.

“I have no idea where she’s been until then.

“She’s healthy so it looks like somebody had been feeding her.

“I think she’s quite tired. All she’s done since she’s been home is sleep and eat.”

A spokesman from Stubbington Ark said: “We were so happy at the shelter when Mrs Garner’s cat could be traced using a microchip. This is another story that proved microchipping your animal can save a lot of heartache.

“We have 17 stray cats in the shelter at the moment that could be reunited with their owner if a microchip was in place.”

To have a pet microchipped at Stubbington Ark costs £12.

Ring 01329 667541 for more information.