Brianna and Savannah, two sisters from Texas, are overjoyed to finally be reunited with their beloved Maltipoo, Byron. After he mysteriously disappeared from their yard on New Year’s Eve 2020, they were devastated. Not only did they participate in his bottle feedings after their uncle’s dog had puppies, but he was welcomed into their family as an emotional support dog for Brianna. The pair did everything they could think of to try to bring him home.
They immediately noted him as missing on their microchip app, Nextdoor, and Ring. They constantly checked their local animal control and posted all over social media. Plus, they put up flyers and searched their entire neighborhood over and over. They did hundreds of hours of work. Yet there was still no sign of Byron.
However, they never lost hope. They knew Byron had been microchipped, and that their information was current and up to date. Brianna even kept his chip information in her wallet, just in case. She continued to check their account weekly. Because he was chipped, both of them continued to hold out hope that one day, they would get the call that Byron had been found.
But after a year, their faith started to falter, and they were checking their account less and less. It was only because Brianna had a dream about them being reunited with Byron that she was inspired to check their account again.
“We happened to check our microchip account one and a half years later only to find out that Byron was no longer in our account. So we reached out to the microchip company trying to figure out anything we could, and they let us know that the Poodle Rescue of Houston had re-homed him to another family. They never contacted us and never reached out to us to let us know.”
When Brianna and Savannah discovered that Byron had not only been found but had been rehomed without their knowledge, they were shocked and outraged. They immediately started investigating his microchip records. From there, they were able to connect Byron’s microchip numbers to a dog that had been renamed and adopted in February of 2020. They had found Byron! With all of that information, they reached out to The Poodle Rescue of Houston.
“The Poodle Rescue of Houston basically said, the new owner does not want to give him back we’re not going to continue this conversation. They tried to make us a deal so we would let the situation go, but we wouldn’t take it. We wanted Byron home,” said Savannah.
Not only did the rescue tell them that they were not going to discuss Byron any further, but they then attempted to convince them to adopt a different dog. As you could have guessed, the sisters declined, as they were only interested in their beloved family member.
Determined to bring Byron home, the sisters created a Facebook page, and a GoFundMe account, in hopes of spreading their story and raising the money they needed to obtain legal counsel. Their story went viral, and they were met with tons of online support. It was from their internet presence that they connected with their incredible team of lawyers who ultimately made their reunion possible.
“They started the legal proceedings, pushed the Poodle Rescue of Houston to settle, and brought Byron home to us,” said Savannah.
Savannah and Brianna were able to uncover a lot on their own, but once their lawyers were involved, they were able to dig even deeper. What happened was the microchip had been batch uploaded by the Poodle Rescue of Houston, without their consent. Then, in an email, the microchip company shared that when there’s a transfer based on partner upload, they don’t need to notify the previous registered owner because microchip registration is not proof of ownership.
Their attorneys also found out that the microchip company’s fine print allows them to argue that what they did in this situation is perfectly legal. However, Brianna and Savannah are still taking legal action against the company.
“The Poodle Rescue of Houston and the microchip company both knew that we were the rightful owners of Byron and chose not to notify us or contact us in any sort of way,” said Savannah.
Pet parents all over the world sleep soundly knowing they’ve trusted a microchip company to help them reunite with their pup in the event that they get lost. Our dogs mean so much to us. They’re members of our family. That’s why this story has left so many people feeling extremely unsettled. It’s our job as pet parents to keep the information current and updated and it’s their job to contact us if our pet is found and scanned, right? What do you think? Let us know on Facebook.