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Thread: Microchip/ Old Owner vs New Owner - Question

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  1. #1
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    Microchip/ Old Owner vs New Owner - Question

    Here's a question for you:

    If you find a stray (or more correctly, if the stray finds you ) and it ends up having a microchip, how long do you give the old owner to contact you before you officially (legally?) take possession of the dog? (One number for the old owner was disconnected, one there was no answer but a message was left.) Also, how would you go about changing the registration of the chip?

    To add to the conundrum, this dog is SKINNY (like eats-a-bit-of-food-then-hides-the-rest-for-later skinny). I want to give the owner the benefit of the doubt --dogs get lost or stolen-- but I'm really not sure this person needs the dog back. At one point she was someone's baby --she's chipped and spayed and has decent manners-- but there haven't been any reports at the animal shelter/humane society of a lost dog matching this description. Soooo, I'm kind of at a loss about what to do.



    Clarification: Though the dog has been with me about a week, it was only today that I was able to get her scanned for a chip. I'm going to try the vets' offices on Monday to see if anyone has reported her missing but again, does she need to go back to that owner? I'm afraid she might go back to a neglectful situation.

  2. #2
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    I would find out everything I could, and then contact the current owners but cautiously. Ask if they looked, if they knew she was missing, whose care she was in, etc. Keep an open mind, but trust your heart, if that makes sense.
    I've Been Frosted

  3. #3
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    This is more of an ethics question than anything else. I'd have to think if the dog is SKINNY and they haven't yet reported her missing, maybe they don't REALLY care. Maybe she was a "lawn ornament" and they haven't noticed her missing yet...the possibilities are endless. I'd agree with Karen on this one. I would definitely call around, but be very cautious about doing so.

    About changing the chip...we had this issue when we acquired Mikey from someone else. We wound up keeping his chip registered to his old owner, but he came from a decent situation before hand. To go about changing it, I believe you needed the papers on it, the website, etc. I could be wrong but we got all that from his owner. If you are unsure, maybe you could talk to the vet who scanned her.
    Mikey - [Pug/Beagle Mix] Spock and T'Stala - [Hermit Crabs] Rest in Peace, Bo. I love you - [African Cawed Frog] Bo II - [Guppy] Buzz - [VT Male Betta] Chippewa - [BT Male Betta]
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  4. #4
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    Thank you for taking her in!

    I'm a bit confused, if she eats a little then hides the rest, is she not that hungry? A skinny dog which has been starving is going to keep eating, until feeling full. I "think." Maybe not overeat, maybe not finish it, but certainly not going to start hiding food if still hungry. Does she go back to what she hid and eat that in an hour? I'm just wondering if she has a health issue.

    I think the vet can guide you how to handle the microchip issue.
    Thank you Karen, for fixing my siggy!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freedom View Post
    A skinny dog which has been starving is going to keep eating, until feeling full. I "think." Maybe not overeat, maybe not finish it, but certainly not going to start hiding food if still hungry.
    This has not been true in my experience of skinny/starving dogs, granted that experience is limited to only two (including this one). When our boxer, Maggie, was found she was skin and bones (IF I remember right -and that's a big if, it's been 6 years ago- she had a body score of 1.5-2) and had scars that looked as though she had all four feet bound together. Those first few nights, she would eat part of her food and hide the rest in her blanket; sometimes she would eat it later, sometimes she would save it for a few days. That was years ago... now, her food is gone within minutes and she scarfs down anything not nailed to the floor.

    As for medical conditions, this dog does need to see a vet. She has a quarter sized lump on her rib cage near her spine; it doesn't cause her pain but it needs to be examined. (Plus, who knows if she's had shots, heartworm preventative, spay, etc.) However, I have other critters with medical conditions of their own and, not to sound cruel, but I won't pour money (I imagine this lump will need to be surgically removed), into a dog I can't legally keep.


    Bottom line: I want this dog, I want to make sure she is properly cared for, but I'm worried that the owner might be able to come back a month or two down the road and try to get their dog back.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by zippy-kat View Post

    As for medical conditions, this dog does need to see a vet. She has a quarter sized lump on her rib cage near her spine; it doesn't cause her pain but it needs to be examined. (Plus, who knows if she's had shots, heartworm preventative, spay, etc.) However, I have other critters with medical conditions of their own and, not to sound cruel, but I won't pour money (I imagine this lump will need to be surgically removed), into a dog I can't legally keep.


    Bottom line: I want this dog, I want to make sure she is properly cared for, but I'm worried that the owner might be able to come back a month or two down the road and try to get their dog back.
    Sure that makes sense, I have no issue with that. I don't have much experience with found, starved dogs, so I didn't know if they will eat or store. Learned something!

    A call to the animal control may give you some guidance as well. Depending on your situation, you may not want to phone from your own phone number.
    Thank you Karen, for fixing my siggy!

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