Dog at centre of ownership dispute is controversially reunited with family

A dog at the centre of an ownership dispute has been controversially reunited with his family.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 5th April 2019, 6:00 am
Bear reunited with Anne and Rebecca after an ownership dispute.
Bear reunited with Anne and Rebecca after an ownership dispute.

Staffie cross Akita called Bear was found wandering the streets in Granton and taken to a local vet, who in turn took him to Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home in Seafield.

The Evening News revealed last week that staff at the home scanned Bear for a microchip and contacted the registered owner, James Boyes, to tell him his dog had been found. The 21-year-old was initially delighted at the prospect of a reunion with his beloved pet who he had not seen for over a year after he claimed his former partner sold after the pair separated.

However, at the same time, a frantic Anne Mitchell got in touch with the charity asking if Bear had been handed in having purchased the pooch from Gumtree in May 2018 without updating his microchip details. Ms Mitchell said Bear had escaped last month while being looked after by a friend while she was in hospital.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

“My daughter Rebecca spent hours walking the streets in the pouring rain looking for him,” Anne said. “We were so distraught. We began phoning Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home every day to see if he had turned up there.”

After an investigation, Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home were able to resolve the ownership dispute when Ms Mitchell provided satisfactory proof of ownership.

Devastated Mr Boyes has now reluctantly relinquished ownership claims after telling the Evening News last week that he was upset by the fact he didn’t have rights to Bear.

Bear has now been reunited with the delighted Anne and Rebecca.

“This has been a big learning experience for us,” said Ms Mitchell

“People need to understand the dangers of buying a dog off online site like Gumtree.

“When buying a pet, you should always get a proof of purchase and any veterinary records from the previous owner. It’s also important to update the microchip information straight away.”

“Every year we rescue hundreds of lost, stray and abandoned dogs and cats, and fortunately, we are able to reunite around 50 per cent of these with their owner,” said Lindsay Fyffe-Jardine, the Home’s director of operations.

“However, as we saw in the case with Bear, if microchip information is out-of-date — or there is no microchip — ownership disputes can arise.

“This is why we strongly urge all pet owners to microchip their pets and ensure the details are correct.”