STUART, Fla. – A Florida man was delighted when his dog returned five days after running away during a thunderstorm – but then he noticed that someone had sliced open the border collie's back.
Dr. Bob Fier, Prince's owner, told WPBF that someone had removed his dog's microchip, shaving the fur and making first one, then a second, longer incision. The resulting, inches-long cut had been stapled shut.
"They certainly had a plan not to give this dog back to me," Fier said.
Fier said he now knows how the saga began – a neighbor found Prince several hours after he bolted from the Stuart home, and took him to the vet where they scanned him for a microchip. According to Fier, he had forgotten to register the chip under his name, so the veterinarian found a different owner in the system – a former volunteer at the rescue agency where Fier had adopted Prince.
That volunteer has since admitted to picking up Prince from the veterinarian, according to WPBF, but when the woman called Fier while the dog was still missing, she claimed Prince had run away again and refused to tell him what neighborhood the collie might be in.
Fier had no idea where to look, and began posting fliers around the city. Meantime, his story had begun to circulate, thanks to a Facebook group.
Then, Fier got a call from a local PetSmart asking if a dog that had been dropped off recently was his. The person who left him there apparently took off running before the store could get any information.
The employee told Fier the pup matched Prince's description, except for the evidence of a recent surgery. Fier rushed to the PetSmart to pick up Prince, who he said was woozy after apparently being given anesthesia.
Prince is back at home healing, and Fier says he has filed a report with the sheriff's office.