Woman finds lost dog, refuses to return it to owner

David Harrigan, Edgar's owner, calls the actions of the clinic and the woman "despicable". 01-06-13
David Harrigan, Edgar's owner, calls the actions of the clinic and the woman "despicable".
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Updated: 1/07 9:25 am
SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. -- A Seminole County man is fighting to get his dog back from a stranger who found his pet.

David Harrigan said his boxer, Edgar, became scared by fireworks on New Year's Eve and ran off.

A stranger found the Edgar and took him to a local veterinarian's office,where the dog's microchip was scanned. But workers at the veterinarian's clinic gave the dog back to the stranger.

The 8-year-old, 80-pound Edgar is, according to Harrigan, the biggest lap dog he has ever owned.

"He's the sweetest dog, and more than anything we just want him back," said Harrigan.

Edgar was found several miles from Harrigan's home, in the middle of a busy road, and taken to the Winter Springs Veterinary Clinic.

Despite the fact that Edgar has a microchip with Harrigan's information attached, no one from the clinic called Harrigan -- he only learned that his dog's chip had been scanned when he received an email from the microchip company.

"Morally, I think it's despicable. This is their business; their business is to take care of pets and take care of their families," Harrigan said.

Employees said they gave Harrigan's information to the person who found Edgar, rather than calling Harrigan directly.

WFTV Channel 9's Karla Ray learned that private clinics have no legal obligation to find an animal's registered owner.

"Isn't there a moral responsibility of a vet clinic to try to get a dog back to its registered owner?" Ray asked a clinic employee.

"That's what we did, we gave them the registered owner's information," was the response.

Florida Boxer Rescue is also registered on Edgar's microchip.

Representatives with the Florida Boxer Rescue told Ray that the person who found the dog said the dog had an ear infection and skin condition. They said the person who found the dog doesn't plan to call Harrigan until test results come back showing the dog is healthy.

"My goal is to bring him home. I want to bring him home, that's it," said Harrigan.

Neither the clinic nor Florida Boxer Rescue would release the name of the person holding Edgar. Harrigan has not been able to get that information, either.
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