A woman has been slammed for refusing to return a missing dog who was clearly well-loved.
The anonymous woman has been caring for the dog for seven months while its rightful owner has been searching for her to no avail.
It wasn’t until the woman shared a picture of her ‘new’ dog on Facebook when its owner discovered the truth.
Speaking to Reddit, the woman explained: “About seven months ago a friend found a dog near her house. She was underweight with dirty fur.
“I took her in and called animal control. They said to bring her in to look for a microchip.
“Animal control couldn’t find a microchip so they said I could hold on to her for a week and they would list her on their website and if nobody claimed her, I could adopt her.”
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A few months after adopting the dog through animal control, the woman posted a picture of her pet on a breed-specific Facebook group.
“A woman was tagged and a few hours later she DMs me,” she said.
“She said my dog was her dog and she was so thankful I found her and wanted to arrange to come to get her.
“She offered to pay me for taking good care of her.
“I thought she was trying to scam me since she lived across the country but when I looked into it I found her Instagram with a lot of dog pictures and videos.
“My dog has very unique markings so it was unmistakeably the same dog as the one in her pictures.
“My dog is a show champion and had a lot of training to do obedience, agility and a few others I’ve never heard of.
“She has a lot of fancy titles too. My dog was clearly well cared for, well-trained, and well-loved.”
The rightful owner went on to explain how her five-year-old dog ran away from home during a house fire – and how she has been searching for her ever since.
She also shared a video of her dog being microchipped.
“Nobody knows how she traveled so far or what happened between when she got lost and when my friend found her. She never stopped looking for my dog,” the woman added.
“She even had a video of my dog as a super cute puppy getting a microchip.
“I have no idea why the shelter and my vet couldn’t find it but my dog had one at some point.”
Despite listening to the rightful owner’s heartbreaking story, the woman refused to give her back claiming she had become the “light in her life” and has been helping her through her struggles with anxiety and depression.
She added: “I told the woman I appreciated the great job she did with my dog for the first few years of her life and I was sorry to hear about her circumstances but I couldn’t give up my beloved girl.
“She’s my support animal so I’m not even sure I could live without her.
“I offered to send her pictures regularly but she turned really nasty. I got tons of hateful messages from people I don’t even know.
“I had panic attacks whenever I got notifications because her friends acted like it’s my fault.
“I didn’t choose for this special dog to change my life so much more than she chose for my dog to get lost.
“I ultimately blocked her because she wouldn’t leave me alone.”
While most users condemned the woman for refusing to return the dog, others shared a thought for the rightful owner who lost everything, including her pet, in the house fire.
One user said: “The original owner had the dog five years and she’s had it months and is complaining about losing their beloved pet?
“Imagine how that woman feels losing her pet and house. Not your dog, give it back.”
Another user added: “Every loved pet is a support animal to someone with depression and anxiety.
“And the dog’s original owner very well might have depression and anxiety over the loss of her house and her dog. And probably much more so now that she won’t return her beloved pet!
“The dog is not hers even if she uses her as an ’emotional support animal’ – as many of us consider our pets. That term does not make you or your case here special.”
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