Lost Dog Custody Dispute

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Playing Pet Owner’s Worst Nightmare

One family found that their beloved lost dog had been adopted by someone else – who refused to give him back!

The couple’s pet escaped from their son, who was dog-sitting while they were on vacation. The pup spent almost a month in a shelter before he was put up for adoption. The new adopters are attached to the dog and don’t want to return him.

Watch: Cesar Millan Answers Your Dog Questions

Veterinarian Dr. Courtney Campbell says, “Most of us would give the dog back, if we knew that it had an owner.” He adds, “If we focus on prevention, that’s a good place to start.” The safest solution for all your pets is a microchip – the tiny implants can never be lost, unlike a collar or harness.

Your friend, your family member, out there in the wilderness -- cold, hungry, exposed to predators – it’s heartbreaking! A microchip can prevent all that,” urges Dr. Campbell. It’s not a remote possibility: 10 million pets are lost every year.

Watch: Would You Use a Matchmaker to Find Your Dog?

If despite your best efforts your pet is lost, check local pounds and humane societies. Most post photos online of stray pets they’ve received. But Dr. Campbell notes, “But you’ve got to be proactive, you’ve got to go out there and look. If a dog comes in no tags, these shelters are overwhelmed. They don’t have the personnel to match and reunite owners with their dogs.”

Shelters will scan strays for a microchip -- it's the best way to make sure that your best friend doesn't go home with someone else!