AUSTIN, Texas - A mix-up at the Austin Animal Center could cause a couple to lose the dog they adopted two-and-a-half years ago.
AAC said they made a mistake when inputting the dog’s microchip information, so its original owner was never contacted.
When John Baxa and Keller Davis visited the animal center in 2016 one dog in particular caught their eye.
“We just loved him from the very beginning,” said Davis.
The couple filled out adoption papers and brought home Wiley, the one-year-old energetic Chihuahua-Corgi that same day. They even registered the microchip number given to them by the animal center online.
For the next two and a half years, Wiley went everywhere with them.
“He chases squirrels, we've taken him to the beach, we've traveled across the country with him… It's just tough right now without him,” Davis said.
Keller and John have been without him since Friday. The couple was visiting Keller’s parents in Addison when Wiley ran away.
“He probably saw a squirrel or something and slipped under the fence and we immediately, all of my family members, jumped in vehicles and started slowly driving around the neighborhood looking for him,” said Keller.
Keller and john called Addison Animal Control repeatedly, they also posted on Nextdoor. Finally, someone wrote them back saying Wiley was found and picked up by an animal control officer.
Keller said at first animal control was going to let him pick Wiley up.
“Then, they also told me at that time, ‘Well, we contacted the primary person for the microchip that we scanned him with, but it's not you, it's someone else,’” Davis said.
That's how Keller found out the Austin Animal Center entered the wrong microchip number years ago.
The animal center sent a statement to FOX 7 Austin about the incident that reads:
“We deeply regret this human error, which we know is causing heartache for two families who love the same dog. When this dog, now named Wiley, was brought to Austin Animal Center as a stray in 2016, his microchip was entered incorrectly in the center’s database. Microchips have unique identifier codes that are a combination of 9-15 characters and can be numeric or alphanumeric in format. The data entry process for each of the more than 16,000 animals intaked every year at Austin Animal Center is done manually and we unfortunately made a mistake when typing in the microchip number. Wiley stayed at the center for the state required three-day stray holding period and was adopted afterward.”
“I hope that they can help us, in some way, find a resolution to this. And I'm sure it was just an honest mistake at the time, but it's having some pretty frustrating consequences 2.5 years later,” said Keller.
A spokesperson for the City of Addison said the original owner as well as John and Keller want the dog back. The Addison city attorney is waiting to hear from the City of Austin before determining their next steps.
Meanwhile, Wiley is still in the custody of animal control.
“He’s not just a number, he's a part of a family, he's a pet, he's a living creature and, just the fact that he's kind of been equated to just a number and our number is an incorrect number, is just such a mess,” Keller said.
Keller said they've been warned the fight for their furry family member could turn into a legal battle, but they're willing to do whatever it takes to bring Wiley home.