ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Two different families both have proof that they own the same dog, and they both say different animal control agencies are to blame.
The lovable friend at the center of the dog fight is Hogan, or Thor, depending on who you ask.
“I have the supporting paperwork that he is my animal,” Tracy Brooks said.
But Susan Miertl said she also has paperwork showing she registered the dog.
How do Miertl and Brooks both have proof they own this German Shepherd?
It started on New Year’s Eve when Hogan got spooked and ran away from Brooks’ Los Lunas home.
“The next day, I posted ads on Craigslist for a missing dog, made posters and hung them up all around Valencia County,” Brooks said.
Bosque Farms Animal Control took in the dog a week after it went missing.
Village officials said they didn’t find a microchip on the dog and that it didn’t match lost dog reports when they checked with Valencia County.
They would later learn he did have a microchip and Brooks said she did report her dog missing with Valencia County.
“I think things went wrong when Bosque Farms didn’t hand over the dog to Valencia County after 72 hours,” Brooks said. “They would have scanned him and contacted me because they knew he was missing.”
Instead, Miertl adopted him, taking him to her South Valley home. She said Bosque Farms Animal Control told her the dog’s previous owners badly abused him based on the dog’s behavior.
So, when a trip to the vet showed he did have a microchip and the original owners were contacted, Miertl wasn’t going to give him up. Now, she is upset with Bernalillo County Animal Control.
Someone from the Brooks family went to Miertl’s home and got Bernalillo County involved when he saw the dog in Miertl’s yard.
Bernalillo County said the dog jumped the fence and when Animal Control checked the microchip, it was registered to the Brooks family, so that is who they returned it to.
“At that point, if there is any conflict, Bernalillo County should have at least taken the dog in custody. So, needless to say, we are very upset,” Miertl said.
The original owners of the dog said a Bosque Farms Animal Control officer threatened to press charges against them for animal abuse and told the new adoptive owner not to give the dog back to them.
Officials in Bosque Farms told KRQE they are not aware of any animal abuse claims or pending charges.
The woman who adopted the dog said she has reported him stolen. The original owners said they are happy to have their dog back but are worried about retaliation.