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Family fighting to get lost dog back from stranger who found him

Dogart_thumb By Ellen | January 06, 2014 | Answers (26)

A family is fighting to get their lost dog Edgar back after the person who found him is refusing to give him back

A Seminole County family is fighting to get their Boxer dog, Edgar, back from a stranger who found him. The person who has Edgar says he isn't healthy and is refusing to give him back until he is. David Harrigan says Edgar is well-cared for by his family, who all miss him and want him back.

Edgar the Boxer went missing on New Year's Eve 2014. As David Harrigan describes it, "During the late evening hours of New Year's Eve 2014, the unimaginable happened - our 8 year-old boxer, Edgar, was outside doing his business and got lost. It was freezing cold, wet, and noisy with neighboring firecracker celebrations, and despite my best efforts to track him down, he was nowhere to be seen."

Fortunately, Edgar was microchipped when they adopted him 5 years ago. Edgar's microchip was scanned a few days later when he was taken to a vet clinic by a woman who found him and saved him from a busy road. However, the vet clinic did not call the Harrigan's directly. Instead they passed on the family's contact details on to the stranger.

But the Harrigans did not get a call. Instead they received an email from the microchip company on four days after Edgar's chip was scanned. According to the microchip company, the chip was scanned on January 2, less than 2 days after Edgar ran away.

The woman is now apparently refusing to return Edgar out of concerns for his health citing a skin condition and a bad ear infection. 

The family posted the following message to their Facebook page on January 6th with the following message:

"THANK YOU to WFTV for running this story and giving Edgar the exposure he needs to get home. We still have no information on where Edgar is or who has him. We are grateful to the good Samaritan who rescued him and helped to avoid the unspeakable. Unfortunately, this person feels that he/she is entitled to make decisions on the quality of Edgar's home and care without speaking with his family.

The news report references an ear infection and a skin condition as some reason to suggest that he is not cared for. As long as we've had him, Edgar has had chronic issues with yeast in his ears. I've taken him to the vet several times to have it treated, and for the past few years we have experimented with different foods to see if they are related to food allergies. I've had him on grain-free food, breed specific blends for boxers, etc., trying to figure out what causes the yeast to develop. While we have dealt with recurring issues over the years and treated ear infections, and while we don't know the specific cause of them, one thing I CAN say is that it is not from lack of effort, care, attention or treatment.

With regard to the skin condition referenced by this person, I am unaware of any such situation and can only attribute this to the fact that he was lost in the elements for a period of time. As long as Edgar has been a part of our family, he NEVER has experienced any skin issues. We unfortunately have no further information regarding this to provide any response to.

As to any claims by the person(s) who have him, Edgar has a veterinarian who has treated him as recently as 3 months ago.

Please let the message to the person who rescued him be clear: THANK YOU. If there is any question regarding his health or the quality of his life, we can't understand why we would not receive a call knowing that you have our contact information. Please do the right thing and just send Edgar home where he belongs, where he loved, and where he is cared for. Thanks and God bless."

What do you think?

 

Update: January 8, 2013: Edgar has been returned to his family.

The Harrigan's have been reunited with Edgar on Wednesday. Details to who actually found Edgar remain unclear, but on Tuesday, David filed a police report, declaring his dog stolen. Soon after declaring the dog stolen, David was contacted by an attorney for Florida Boxer Rescue and the family was happily reunited with Edgar at a vet clinic.

Edgar has returned home



Do you think Edgar should be returned to his family?
Total votes 129
Vote Yes
Vote No
Vote Maybe. Please explain.
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Answers To This Question

Maria Roldan Alfaro, there is no need to YELL! I know this is an emotional topic, but your posts are annoying and distracting. Glad to know that this family was reunited with adorable Edgar.
NO EXCUSE, period. The vet who scanned the dog was responsible for contacting the family who OWNS him. And the antics of the woman who had him were those of a misguided person who had not a leg to stand on. Well done, the dog WAS stolen by the woman.
I have a feeling that this women is connected to the rescue group and that is why the vet didn't contact the owners..He thought the rescue group would handle it. But when the situation became news and the truth revealed..They had to give him back or face prosecution for theft. The vet wound be required to tell who brought him in. This could have been bad for all involved.
IT COULD HAVE BEING NICE IF THEY GIVE THE DOG BACK BC IT WAS THE RIGHT THING TO DO, LIKE WEND YOU DO THE RIGHT THING, BUT THEY GIVE THE DOG BACK BC THEY MAKE THEM TO, I HOPE THIS VET CLINIC NEXT TIME DO THE RIGHT THING WEND THEY SCAN THE MICROCHIP TO RETURN THE DOG THE RIGHTFUL OWNER, BC WEE PUT MICROCHIP ON OUR LOVE ONES BC WEE THING IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO IF IN CASE THEY GET MISSING BUT IDIOTIC VET LIKE THIS ONE ONLY CARE TO CHARGE FOR THE SERVICE AND THEN THEY DON FALLOW THE RULE!!!!!! I LOVE THAT EDGAR IS BACK WITH HIS FAMILY, BUT KARMA WILL FOLLOW TO THE ONE THAT WANT TO KEEP THIS BABY WEND SHE NEW THIS WAS STILLING BAD, BAD, BAD, BAD, THAT YOUR MOTHER DID NOT TEACH YOU YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO STEAL!!!!!!! IF YOU DOG OR CAT GO TO THIS VET PLEASE LOOK FOR A BETTER ONE BC THIS CAN CARE LESS WHAT HAPPEN TO YOUR BABY!!!!!! I DISLIKE THIS VET CLINIC BC HE DID ACT LIKE A IDIOT, WEND THE VET KNOWS WHAT WAS THE RIGHT THING TO DO, SHAME, SHAME, SHAME ON THE VETERINARIAN CLINIC!!!!!!!
I pray if one of my pets ever goes missing, that someone who cares that much finds them. I would have been just as adamant about his condition had I found this dog. How do you know if he's being neglected or not. I'm glad this woman made sure he was truly cared for before surrendering him. God Bless her!
Understandable! I have an older dog who has a lot of health problems. Our vet bills are astonishing. We gladly pay them, but if were lost and off his meds for even 2 days, then someone found him they'd probably think he was neglected. It makes me sad to think I'd not get him back.
I didn't see that til after. I was basing my answer on the news article, as if I were the person who found the dog. Meaning, if I found a dog wandering the streets with an ear infection and skin condition, as stated by the news article alone, I would be hesitant to return the dog. With the totality of the circumstances in both statements, I would gladly give the dog back to the owner since it does appear to be taken care of.
@ Chris, continue scrolling below the video, there are several more paragraphs including a message from the family where they give a long statement about how well cared for the dog is. :)
This is not the way to handle this. If she is worried about Edgars well being, taking him away from a family he knows and loves and keeping him closed up in a strange place will be much harder on Edgar than an ear infection!! give him back if you really care about him!!
@Anita: if your referring to the artice above, which is 5 paragraphs, it states " concerns for his health, citing a skin condition and bad ear infection" if there is more than that, I guess I don't know where it is..
Have you contacted the authorities? I had a golden retriever with skin and ear conditions which were fierce. he was on every diet known to man, and thousands of dollars in vet bills. Just because a dog has these two things does not mean he is neglected. The police need to get involved and determine if there is neglect, and if not, give him back!!
I HAVE MICROCHIP IN ALL MAY BABY'S (PETS ) CATS AND DOGS, AND I BELIEVE THE VET HAVE THE MORAL OBLIGATION TO CALL AND INFORM THE OWNERS ABOUT THERE FAMILY MEMBERS, I WILL NOT CARE FOR A VET HOSPITAL OR CLINIC THAT DOS NOT CARE TO DO THE RIGHT THING, I BET YOU THEY MICROCHIP THE PETS FROM THERE OWN COSTUMERS AND IF THEY DO THEY NO BETTER, AND FOR THEM TO GIVE THE DOG TO A PERFECT ESTRANGE PEOPLE THAT HAVE NO RESPECT FOR THE DOG OR FAMILY MEMBER OF THIS DOG, WHOEVER YOU ARE SHAME ON YOU BC YOU HAVE NO RESPECT NO MORAL AND I HOPE YOU TEACH YOUR CHILDREN'S BETTER, BC IF YOU ARE NOT YOU ARE THE ONLY ONE BLAME, STEALING A DOG IS A CRIME AND I WILL PUT YOU IN JAIL IF THIS BABY WAS MINE!!!!!!!
THATS KIDNAPPING! That woman is a criminal and should go to jail. I think the law is on the families side.
And @ Chris - how can you say the article does not address whether or not the conditions were being treated? The article goes into great detail about how the dog has suffered from yeast infections which the family has been struggling to help the dog with for years. Did you simply skim the article or what???
While NORMALLY I am outraged by the fact that the courts consider dogs (animals in general) "property" this is a case where that would help this particular family. This dog is this family's property, and this woman is in possession of their property. There is a case to be made that she stole it. The family has stated they have taken this dog to the vet many times for his ear infections. I myself have a flop eared dog, his ears are ALWAYS infected. WE have spent copious amounts of money, time and he's gone through surgeries and taken medications all because of it. We so everything we can, but they come back. None can judge if they have been lucky enough to have a healthy dog (like our other one).
I agree with Lisa Camp. If this woman does not return the dog I would call police.
Where does this person get off thinking it is her job to keep someone else's pet because she thinks he needs a certain kind of medical care?! She doesn't have Edgar's records or know what medical care may already have been administered (he could even be in mid-course of antibiotics or other medications that he NEEDS and is not getting because she is preventing his return home). I have an elderly lab mix with epilepsy and hypothyroidism. He gets twice daily, life-saving medication. However, because of his thyroid condition, he frequently has itchy skin and is prone to rashes. Sometimes he gets "hot spots" and we have to medicate with a special ointment. During some of those times, he can look pretty ratty because he tries to lick and chew on the itchy places and it leaves his hair looking spiky (from spit) and tangled. He is also slightly senile at this point and does wander a bit, so we have to keep a sharp eye on him when we are all outside. If he wandered off during one of those times and someone like this self-righteous "Samaritan" found him, she might decide he was not cared for and keep him. That would mean his not getting medications he MUST have every day. What is the chance she would somehow figure out that he had epilepsy, hypothyroidism and senility in addition to a minor skin condition?! (It took our vet years of knowing him from puppyhood to old age and many different tests at different times to get the final diagnosis for all his problems.) By the time she found out -- if ever -- he would probably be dead. This woman has NO right to play doggie policewoman and withhold this pup from his family, but if she really believes he needs care, why not call his family and discuss it with them? If she absolutely MUST mind their business, she could at least go to his veterinarian to find out his history. Assuming the dog's current condition can say EVERYTHING about his medical history, she still has no right to interfere with a dog and his family in the absence of obvious abuse. If there was abuse, she should have called the authorities -- not taken it into her own hands. And finally... I would really like to know why the vet who looked at his microchip doesn't tell the family who brought Edgar into his office so they can go to HER if she won't go to them? Surely she paid by check or credit card and they would know her name (and probably her address and phone number as well). Personally, I would report this woman as a dog thief and make the vet accessory to the crime for not revealing who was illegally holding him.
It seems small time vets aren't required to call the owners by law. Morally, the vet techs didn't want to get into trouble so they did the next best thing and just gave the owners info. As for calling the police, I can see where no one wants to get the law involved if this can be solved quietly. But now, I think its beyond that once you get the news involved.
Why didn't the vet call the owners and why haven't the owners called the police?
I voted yes. Despite the skin and ear claims, the dog should be delivered home. Now if there was more evidence of neglect, thin, scars, mange... etc. Then I can understand refusing to return the dog. But for simple things as bad ears and skin, how does she know they're from neglect? As the owners have stated already, they know about the problem with his ears. If she's worried about him, the right thing to do would be to return him, and inform the family about her concerns. And if they need help with vets to get it treated, offer it. But don't keep the dog if you don't know its past and you KNOW someone is looking for it. To whoever has this sweet looking boxer, give him back already.
Don't get me wrong, I stated IF the conditions were a result of prior neglect, from being lost, or if it was something that was currently being treated. All of those factors would play a role in my decision. They are questions that the article does not explain. I personally would never keep someone's dog away from them just to be a jerk but I would if it was being neglected. Again I am not saying this particular dog was being neglected.
I voted because I know how this yeast infection works. I have a rescued yellow lab that we have had for 4 years. He has had allergies and yeast infection since adoption. He is under our vets care and he takes medicine for all of this. His ears can be fine for some time and then the next thing I know he is digging at his ears and I know it is time to put medicine in. This woman who has the dog must not know anything about yeast infection. I don't know how she can legally get away with this unless she is after something else. The owners need to get the police and go over and get their dog. The vet can verify who it belongs too and so can the micro chip.
I think if they have proof that they have been addressing the ear issue all along that the person who is refusing to give him back should call his vet and verify this. I had a dog with ear problems and minor skin problems and we treated him for 11 years. I would hate to think anyone would have thought we were neglecting him in any way.
This is insane, the dog BELONGS to a family who love and want him back. The police should be called as I think if they are registered as the owners on the micro chip the dog should be rightfully returned
Yes...they have proof that they have been actively trying to solve the skin problems. My son had a dog that had a skin condition so bad she could not keep fur on her body and she looks horrible, but he spent ALOT of money (a couple of thousand) trying to resolve the problem. So yes dogs do have chronic problems that no amount of medicine can help. My question if your neighbors child had a chronic condition such as psoriasis and looking nappy all the time and could prove they were doing everything medically possible for that child, would you consider it neglected and abuse???? Think lodgically here people, not everyone who owns a chronically sick dog is an abuser.....
I voted maybe because it would make a difference as to wheyher the skin condition and ear infection are something that I'd due to neglect or from being lost in the cold for a period of time. If it's due to being lost, then he should be given back. If it's due to neglect prior to being lost, there should be stipulations prior to his return.
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