Microchipping is a big step forward for New Zealand dogs.. the chances of them being rehomed is much greater if they have one. One day, some day, a scan will show their true identity! However, sometimes all the technology in the world does not prevent mistakes. Sad to think these people lost their pet this way - but I do know, one thing I have learned - if your pet goes missing - visit everywhere: the local pound, the SPCA and any other animal rescue centres in the area.. don't rely on the system, or phoning round with descriptions. Leave details with every vet clinic.
One case we had here concerned a white cat that had been missing for many weeks. The owner rang all the local clinics. No sign. By sheer chance, a mutual friend visited a local rescue centre and admired the white cat in there.. who was inclined to be timid and standoffish despite the care he was getting. As soon as she spoke, he perked up and came to meet her, rubbing against her in a way she recognised! One quick phone call and he was reunited with his Mum. It turned out that he had been picked up and taken for treatment to the vet clinic that was known as the clinic for this rescue centre, not to any clinic in the area he lived in; he stayed there for some time, but it was not a clinic the owner had thought to ring because it was so far away. Eventually the vet clinic discharged him to the rescue centre to live there until he could be rehomed. He had not been at the rescue centre when she rang them initially... because he was still at the vets. He really fell through the cracks..just glad there was a happy ending that time :)