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Dog debacle highlights importance of pet microchipping

Posted at 9:42 PM, Dec 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-17 23:24:02-05

A Corpus Christi couple is trying to get their dog, Charlie, back after he ran away, spent two weeks in the Aransas County Animal Shelter, and then was adopted to a family out of state.

“We love and we miss him,” Reuben Canchola said. “At the end of the day that’s all we want. We want him home.”

“I would really like to have him home, because it’s not the same without my dog there,” Canchola’s girlfriend Aria Gamez said.

The director of Aransas County Animal Control said the shelter followed its own policies in Charlie’s case. The shelter is obligated to wait three days before trying to adopt out a pet. That time period, in theory, allows its owner to track it down to the shelter.

Charlie was never fitted with a microchip which might have given Canchola and Gamez better odds in retrieving him. The small device implanted between a dog’s shoulders contains a code that a scanner reads. The code allows you to look up information on the owner.

“We can very quickly scan with the universal scanner and find the name and the address and the phone number of the person who owns that animal,” Gulf Coast Humane Society Executive Director Sharon Ray said.

Canchola and Gamez said they only learned that Charlie was at the shelter on December 3. The next day Gamez said she called the shelter to start the retrieval process, but was informed of Charlie’s adoption to a new owner.

“They told me, ‘he’s been adopted and shipped out of state,’ and I was just like, what?” Gamez said.

She and Canchola urge the shelter to reach out to Charlie’s new parents, explain the situation, and return him to them. It’s unclear if that’s already happened or if it will happen.

“Do the people who adopted Charlie know that we want him back and that we never stopped looking for him?” Gamez asked.