Two parties claim the same dog is theirs

TRI-CITIES, Wash. -- A strange situation has left the Tri-City Animal Shelter in a bind. Two parties claiming a missing dog is theirs. The exact same description was given by both parties, down to a small little shave mark, the only thing different was the name they gave. KEPR talked with the animal shelter director about the sticky situation and what could have been done to avoid this altogether.

Julie Barquist and Leslie Bell say their pups are like family.

"Well my three year old says that Leroy is her baby. They've kind of grown up together and ya she's definitely a family member," said Bell.

They both place a high priority on keeping their dogs safe. One way of doing that getting them microchipped.

"It's really important because they could get loose or something could happen with them and that way we can track them, we can find them again," said Barquist.

Director of the Tri-City Animal Shelter Angela Zilar says that could have been the saving grace in the latest situation the shelter is handling. Two parties claiming the same dog is theirs. No real way to tell.
An off-duty Animal Control Officer found a little Shih Tzu more than a week ago. She posted a picture of just the dog's face on Craig's List.

"Within I think a 45 minute time frame, a girl called and said, I think you have my dog," said Zilar.

After giving a correct description, the officer gave the dog to the woman. But the problem was, someone else called soon after claiming the dog was also theirs.

"They described the same dog, the same description including the little shave patch."

They only thing different about party A and party B's story was the name they gave.

"We're just having difficulty getting confirmation of ownership. Party A has provided vet records. They do have a little white Shih Tzu that is approximately a year old. But without a microchip, a name tag, something on the dog. And two parties perfectly identifying the dog makes it really really tough."

And the microchip is key.

"Microchips are huge. In the respect that collars and tags can fall off. We all know this or they can take 'em off cause you just gave them a bath, you forget to put them back on. Microchips can't do that. You insert it under the first layer of skin and boom. It's there," said Zilar.

The shelter is hoping a third party might be able to help lead them in the right direction. The police is now involved in this investigation.