Clinic Stories

Witness Protection

A local shelter asked if we could board a healthy dog. The only information given was that the dog was from a home where many members of the extended family were arrested in four different locations and there was no one left to keep the dog. Fearing that one of their associates would break into the shelter and take the dog, they wanted him at an undisclosed location. They would not say what town he was from or give his name, but thinking the Sopranos, we called him Vito the Tooth.

Vito, a friendly male pit bull about a year old, stayed for a few weeks in seclusion. He was neutered, vaccinated, given a microchip and eventually returned to the shelter, then to the owner, the secret intact.

A few months later someone called looking for their dog, “Lucky”, claiming that we had him. They were not clients and we did not know what they were talking about. The next two days they called again insisting that we had their dog. Finally, Animal Control said they were coming in with the dog we know as Vito and their owners would meet them at the office. Vito, aka Lucky, was running at large and picked up by Animal Control. The owners were trying to locate him and the microchip administrator listed me as his veterinarian. Lucky was brought in by an Animal Control Officer (ACO) and the owners, a man and his son, met her at the office. They were not Italian, but Hispanic. The ACO was afraid of them because the father had threatened to punch another female ACO in the face when she would not release the dog. Lucky was treated for a minor injury, but was taken back to the shelter when they claimed they had no money.

A few days later they paid his bail and took Lucky home. Vito the Tooth returned to the land of make believe.

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