James Boyes got a phone call out of the blue by a representative from the Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home who told him they had a dog in their care who was registered to him.
It was a moment of delight for the 21-year-old who had never envisaged a reunion with his one-year-old, Bear, who he has not seen for over a year.
He claims his former partner sold the staffy cross akita, who he had from a puppy, behind his back after they separated and he hasn’t seen him since. After failing to track down his furry friend a year ago, he had given up hope until being informed he had been found wandering the streets.
Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home invited James to the home so he could reclaim his pooch. However he says staff’s attitude towards him changed upon his arrival at the home.
Despite having a home in Loanhead and the dog being microchipped in his name, James says the charity told him he has no ownership rights.
“They said because it had been a year I don’t have the rights to the dog,” said James. “But Bear is registered to me. The home contacted me in the first place and now they won’t let me see my dog. They want to rehome him to a complete stranger which makes no sense.
“I even went to the home with the £200 rehoming fee and they still wouldn’t accept it. He’s just sitting in a cage.
“The way they are treating me is unbelievable. I think partially it’s to do with my age. It’s actually quite upsetting that they seem to think I have no rights.”
Unemployed James says he’s been as open as possible with the charity, even offering staff to inspect his home to check if it is suitable for Bear. He is baffled by the home’s decision and insists he is gutted at the thought of being so close yet so far from seeing his dog again.
He said: “It’s not fair that my dog is being kept from me in a cage when he has a loving home to go to. If I could get Bear back I would be over the moon. I just feel like I’m getting nowhere at the moment. A microchip was surely invented for occasions such as this. How do they know what is best for my dog?”
A spokesperson from Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home: “We cannot comment on an ongoing case with an animal in our care. However, Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home operates to strict animal welfare standards, and our priority is always that of what is in the best interest of the animal.”