The circumstances surrounding the disappearance of Dr. Bob Fier’s Collie, Prince are mysterious to say the least. The dog returned to his Stuart, Florida home 5 days after running away during a thunderstorm. He was safe and unharmed, except for a pair of incisions in his back where his microchip had been cut out.
Prince became spooked by the storm and ran away from Dr. Fier on September 18. A neighbor found him wandering loose without I.D. and took him to a local vet to be scanned for a chip. Prince had been implanted with a chip by the rescue group Dr. Fier adopted him from, but he had failed to change the registration into his name.
The ownership information on file put the vet’s office in touch with a former volunteer of the rescue organization who came to retrieve Prince. Here’s where things get a bit hazy.
The volunteer has admitted to picking up Prince, but claims that he escaped from her before she could contact Dr. Fier. When she did speak with him, she refused to tell him which neighborhood Prince was in, so he had no idea where to search for his dog.
He began hanging fliers around town and the Facebook group, Pet Haven’s Critters at Crossroads circulated Prince’s story and photo. 5 days after Prince went missing, Dr. Fier received a call from a local PetSmart saying that a dog had been dropped off matching Prince’s description. According to the employee, the only difference was that this dog had two fresh incisions and was still woozy from the affects of surgical anesthesia.
The dog did indeed turn out to be Prince and one thing was clear – whoever had him had not intended to give him back. Prince’s microchip had been surgically removed – the hair neatly shaved away between his shoulder blades, the incisions closed up with surgical staples. The second incision was located between Prince’s ears.
The publicity generated by the Facebook posts and fliers likely spooked Prince’s captors into dumping him at the PetSmart. The person shoved Prince through the door and fled without giving any contact information or explaining how he came to be in possession of the dog.
Dr. Fier has filed a report with the local sheriff’s office to try to get to the bottom of what happened to Prince and protect other dogs from falling victim to the same fate. For now, Prince is safe at home and healing well from his strange procedure.
Update: A veterinarian was later arrested for theft after it was found that she was responsible for the unauthorized surgery performed on Prince.
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