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Mike Weed was devastated when his dog went missing from his home in Waterford, California last September.
The 8-year-old blue nosed pit bull, Chevy, didn’t return and Weed was convinced he’d never see her again.
On Wednesday, he got the surprise of a life time when he got a notification from HomeAgain Pet ID and Recovery, the pet microchip company his lost dog was registered with.
The email was requesting permission to change ownership of his lost dog’s microchip.
After looking further into the matter, Weed learned that his lost dog was still alive, but she’d just been adopted to a family from an animal rescue in Sonora, about 45 miles from his home.
Weed is now working with the animal rescue to try and get his dog back.
HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?
The dog was rescued by the Friends of the Animal Community (FOAC) in April, an all-volunteer non-profit organization in Sonora, said FOAC owner Darlene Mathew.
The organization helps relieve overcrowding at the Tuolumne County Animal Control and aims to reduce unnecessary euthanasia, according to Mathew.
The dog was initially turned into the Tuolumne County Animal Control as a stray by a citizen in the La Granger area in late March, said Michael Mazouch with the Tuolumne County Animal Control.
"The dog was scanned for a microchip and contact for the owner was attempted, without success," Mazouch said in an e-mail. "Between the time Chevy was dropped off in March until September, nobody reached out to our shelter inquiring about Chevy."
The Tuolumne County shelter in Jamestown is an open admission shelter that takes strays dropped off by citizens, abandoned, or surrendered animals," Mazouch said in an e-mail.
All animals entering the shelter are scanned for a microchip and if the chip has owner information, the shelter attempts to make contact with them.
After the state mandated 72 hour hold time, animals may be put up for adoption. For animals that have identification, the Tuolumne County shelter will hold the animal for at least two weeks before they are placed up for adoption or transferred to an animal rescue organization.
In this case, Chevy was held by our shelter for two weeks before a local organization took him in to find adoptive owners," Mazouch said in an e-mail.
Chevy was hurt attempting to get out of her cage at the pound. Because of her old age and her injuries, Chevy was likely to be euthanized, so the FOAC stepped in.
Matthew says the rescue spent hundreds of dollars on Chevy’s medical expenses and housed her for six months before a family adopted her.
“I feel like, that’s a huge communication breakdown," Weed said.
Most recently, when the new family adopted Chevy and attempted to change ownership of microchip, the original owner was alerted.
WHY DIDN’T THE RESCUE ATTEMPT TO CONTACT THE ORIGINAL OWNER?
In Tuolumne County, animal control scans microchips of dogs and cats that are impounded and makes attempts to contact the owners.
“I have done this 21 years and I have never had this situation happen,” Mathew said.
The FOAC does not scan microchips to contact owners because they rescue animals from the county that are already believed to be without owners or abandoned.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
The animal rescue has contacted the family that recently adopted Chevy to explain the situation and is working to resolve the matter.
“We’re trying to see if these people are willing to give Mike his dog back,” Mathew said.
However, since the dog has already been legally re-homed, it will be up to the new owners to give the dog back or not. Continue the conversation with Giacomo on Facebook.