CBS 5 Advocate

Confirm with vet that puppy has a microchip before buying

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A San Tan Valley woman says she was stunned to learn a breeder gave false information about a microchip in her dog but she's now learned how to verify.

There's lots of research you can, and should, do to confirm a dog breeder is legitimate. But if you're paying extra for the breeder to place a microchip in the dog (to find the dog in case it ever gets lost) there's an easy way to confirm before making the purchase.

Tammy Snow loves her new puppy, Winston. She found a Facebook ad and says she agreed to buy a French bulldog from a man named Angel Salazar for $1700. Snow says a big selling point was technology to keep Winston from getting lost.

"Part of the reason that I paid the amount that I did, was for this dog to be micro-chipped," Snow said.

Salazar provided proof. The certification listed the microchip number and there was a tattoo on Winston that matched the certification. But a vet would later confirm there was no chip. Snow says when she confronted Salazar, he abruptly disappeared.

"He stopped responding, he had no response. He took no responsibility for the dog not being micro-chipped," Snow said.

When seen with Snow's other pet, a bulldog of the same age, it's clear Winston isn't a French bulldog either. But the issue of the microchip could have been easily confirmed prior to purchase.

"You should take your dog to the vet. The person that's selling the dog, a legitimate person, would agree," Snow said.

A vet can wave a wand over the dog and find the chip. Some do it for free; others charge a small fee. Snow says it's good insurance for when a breeder is less than honest.

"That $40-$50 that you pay for that office visit will save you a lot of heartache and money in the long run," Snow said.

CBS 5 News reached out to Angel Salazar and, to his credit, he answered. Salazar apologized, said he had been going through some tough times in his life at the time but now wanted to make amends. He met with Snow and returned the entire $1700 and she gets to keep Winston! Salazar did the right thing and he has our thanks for that.

By example, the only way to know for sure a used car has never been in a wreck or is need of expensive repairs, is to have a mechanic check it out. The same goes for "chipped" puppies. Make the sale contingent on your vet confirming the chip. A reputable breeder should have no problem if you ask.

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