Microchip mix up prevents return of dog that ran away during fireworks

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A Winter Haven family hopes to prevent heartache for pet-lovers after animal control refused to give their dog back due to confusion with a microchip.

When officials picked up Kerri Long's 11-year-old long-haired Chihuahua, Caesar, they scanned for a microchip and found the registered owner. However, the information linked to the microchip was not Long's. It was registered to Caesar's previous owner.

Caesar is finally back home, safe in the arms of Long's son, 13-year-old Cameron, but the family is still shaken by the ordeal.

Back on July 5, Caesar was spooked by fireworks and ran away. Animal control later picked him up. When the Longs went to get him, they say animal control refused to hand him over, saying his microchip was registered in another person's name.

Animal control told the Longs they needed to contact the previous owner to get permission to get Caesar, or they could pay to re-adopt the dog.

“Still proceeded to tell me I cannot take him home until 10 days unless they heard from the owner of the microchip,” Kerri explained.

She tried for days to make contact with the dog's original owner but had no luck, so she and her best friend, Kelly Linko turned to FOX 13 for help.

After a few hours, we located the owner, who was able to give animal control permission to give the dog back to Kerri and Cameron.

“It was a just a really good feeling because I thought I would never get him back,” Cameron said.

The family’s message to future dog owners: If you adopt a dog, make sure its microchip is updated with your information.

Animal control waived most of the fees associated with Caesar being trapped and held at its facility.