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Animal shelter sells man’s dog in mix-up

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A mix-up involving a man’s dog and the Southside Animal Shelter ended with police being called and two people accusing the shelter of stealing a dog.

Traci Berry confronted the shelter about them allegedly stealing the dog.

Tye Slabaugh’s dog, Chance, went missing over a month ago.

“[Chance is] my running partner. I live by myself, and we do everything together. He rides with me wherever I go and stuff, and we’re always together,” Slabaugh said.

He called local shelters and knew Chance was microchipped, but couldn’t find him. Indianapolis Animal Care Services (IACS) picked up Chance, but the microchip hadn’t been registered yet with Slabaugh’s information.

The Southside Animal Shelter took Chance and put him up for adoption. Traci Berry adopted Chance, who the shelter named Ozzy. She paid around $450 for the dog, and her information was put on the microchip.

Ozzy didn’t get along well with Berry’s other dog, so she decided to return Ozzy to the shelter. Berry’s friend had posted a photo of Ozzy on a lost dog website, and she was contacted by Slabaugh.

“After talking with Tye, we thought it might be his dog. But he kept saying the dog was chipped, the dog was chipped. I said this dog was not chipped; they told me this dog was not chipped,” Berry said.

Before returning Ozzy, Berry took him to her veterinarian. The vet scanned the microchip and found Berry’s contact information on the chip, as well as Slabaugh’s.

“He’s got a chip. How do you get that mixed up? You can’t get that mixed up — when he’s got a chip,” Slabaugh said.

The dog was chipped but was not registered until about a week after he had gone missing and after IASC had gotten the dog.

“That’s so important to make sure that your chip is registered,” shelter director Rosie Ellis said.

Berry and Slabaugh met at the shelter Friday so that Berry could reunite Chance with his original owner. Berry also got back half of the money she paid for the dog. The other half was used for the medical care the shelter gave Chance.

“I can’t thank [Berry] enough. She’s awesome. She did the right thing. She’s an animal lover like me,” Slabaugh said. “She wanted to make sure it was my dog.”

At the end of the day, police left, and Chance got to go home.

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