The headline Family's heartbreak as council rehome runaway dog during holiday caught my eye, and on reading a very sad story emerged. Scamp, a beautiful Lhasa Apso had been part of the de Lacy family for five years, since they rescued her from a dog shelter. They lived happily in Monmouth, Wales. However when the couple went on vacation, they left Scamp in the care of the daughter in Liverpool. A great alternative to kennels or paying a pet sitter you might think, except things did not go according to plan. Scamp managed to escape from her holiday home, and the de Lacy's daughter could not find her. She duly contacted the council, and kept her fingers crossed that the dog would be found before her parents came home.
Here's the good news - Scamp was indeed found - hooray! She was picked up by a warden and taken into kennels.
Here's the bad news - the council had no record of anyone contacting them about Scamp, so they did not know she was missing rather than just stray.
Good news - she had a microchip. Even better news - the council bothered to scan the microchip.
Bad news - the contact details were out of date and only showed the shelter from which the de Lacey's adopted Scamp.
Here's the really bad news (from the de Lacey's point of view) - after not being claimed for seven days, Scamp was put up for adoption. Nine applications were put in to adopt her, and the council chose one, and off went Scamp to her new home, ironically on the very day the de Lacey's flew home from their vacation.
By the time the de Lacey family established with the council that Scamp was their dog, she had been in her new home for two days. The new family had bonded with her and did not want to let her go. Legally they were entitled to keep her, and the council had also acted within the law. What a horrible situation all round - and what a reminder to update your microchip details.
Then another headline - Re-homed dog to be returned to original owners. This weekend the de Lacey's and Scamp will be reunited. Think of the happiness in their household - but spare a thought for the tears that will in all probability be shed in the "new" family's home. They adopted in all good faith, and none of this is their fault. The council has pledged to find the family another dog, and I hope they do find a canine companion to help them put all this unpleasantness behind them.
Now let me ask you a favour - get up from your computer and go and check that your microchip or tattoo contact details are up to date. Please - not for me, but for your dog's sake, and to save another family from adopting a dog they come to love but feel compelled to hand back.