Custody Battle Over Adopted Dog Has Come To An End

Alan Scaia
November 28, 2018 - 8:06 am
Dog Custody Battle

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UPDATE (5:45 p.m.): A judge in Addison has sided with a couple from Austin in a dispute about who was the rightful owner of an adopted dog. 

*Previous story follows:

DALLAS (1080 KRLD) - A couple who adopted a dog two and a half years ago has hired a lawyer in a custody battle with the dog's previous owner.

John Baxa lives in Austin and adopted the dog in 2016. He and his boyfriend were visiting his boyfriend's family in Addison over Thanksgiving when the dog got loose.

They found the dog, Wiley, at a shelter, but Baxa says the shelter scanned Wiley's microchip, and the scan revealed a different owner. He says the microchip registered to him had a 14 digit number instead of 15.

The shelter had already contacted Wiley's previous owner who wanted the dog back.

"While that's unfortunate, and I feel bad about that, we have known Wiley for a much longer period of time-based on his estimated age," Baxa says.

Addison is holding the dog and is working with a lawyer to decide who should get Wiley. Baxa has also hired a lawyer who says a case that went to the Texas Supreme Court in 2016 could play a role here.

In that case, a family lost a dog and did not know where he was until he had already been adopted. The state supreme court ruled for the family, saying the family claimed the dog within 30 days.

Baxa's lawyer, Mark Kennedy, says since more than 30 days had passed before someone claimed Wiley, the dog became Baxa's property.