Owner of lost dog urges stricter vet and microchip laws - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Owner of lost dog urges stricter vet and microchip laws

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A man's grief over losing a piece of his family is pushing him to put more emphasis on microchips for pets.

On October 26, Bobby Lynch's french bull dog, Kerrigan, went missing. His neighbor called that day to say all of Lynch's dogs had gotten loose. The other three were found close by, but Kerrigan was no where in sight. Despite Lynch's efforts to find him, even a $5,000 reward offered, they had no luck.

Lynch believes someone may have found Kerrigan and kept him.

"Today, I haven't gotten him. I haven't found him so it's the unknown. Do I believe in my heart that's he okay? Yeah, I have to." Lynch said.

Kerrigan was microchipped, Lynch said. So, he did what all owners of lost pets do, he checked with the shelters but no one had brought him in. Lynch said he went as far as calling all of the road sanitation departments in case his dog had been hit but still no sign of Kerrigan was reported.

That's when Lynch said he called area veterinarian offices and was met with a concerning discovery.

"I get very few say they do scan for microchips, others want the microchip number, the rest are just we'll keep a lookout for him," he said.

Veterinarians are not required to scan for microchips and if they do, it doesn't exactly mean a pet will be returned to its home. Under Iowa law, and the majority of the other states, veterinarians are bound by a client confidentiality law. Microchips don't prove ownership of a pet.

"Microchips currently are not a safety for dogs or pets to be brought home but the potential is there," Lynch said.

It was after this that Lynch launched a petition to urge legislation changes. Known as Kerrigan's Law, Lynch wants a law to require vets to scan all new patients and to make it that a microchip can prove ownership.

"It is about finding Kerrigan but the broader idea is to change the law because if were changed today, I would find Kerrigan," he said.

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