Adams County urges microchipping after 2 families claim same dog

THORNTON, Colo. — What would you do if you lost your pet? Questions about the identity of a chihuahua named Taco are stirring emotions in Thornton as two families are claiming ownership of the pet.

Animal experts say heartbreaking situations like this can be avoided by making sure pets are microchipped.  A Thornton resident, who prefers to remain unidentified, tells FOX31 her family’s beloved pet Taco went missing before Thanksgiving.  He turned up at the Adams County Animal Shelter. She says when she went to pick the dog she believed to be Taco up, he had already been identified by another family and given to them.

The owner says since Taco was not microchipped, the shelter asked for pictures, an I.D. tag and other items to provide proof of ownership, which she as well as the other family presented.

The resident says her children are heartbroken.

“My kids really miss him. They keep asking when he’s coming home,” she said.

Adams County officials provided a statement saying, “as we continue our work with local Animal Management partners to establish the ownership of this animal, this case illustrates the importance of microchipping our pets.”

Microchipping involves implanting a tiny device underneath the pet’s skin that includes a string of unique identification numbers. A record of those numbers is kept in a national database with a link to pet owner information. The pet can be scanned to determine its identity.

Adams Country provides microchipping for $20. The procedure is also available at most shelters and veterinarians offices. 

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