Microchip_for_PetsOne of the greatest animal identification methods of the century, the microchip, has proved to be an indispensable aid to animal shelters, animal control officers, and veterinarians in reuniting lost pets with their owners.  Many lost dogs end up in shelters where they are adopted out to new homes or even euthanized.   A microchip is your safest bet for getting your lost dog returned to you safely if he/she ever gets lost.

Ah but here is a microchip that worked against an Animal Control Officer in Stoughton, Massachusettes, Kristin Bousquetit got her fired.

janet_shaniJanet Torren’s silky Yorkshire terrier dog, Shani, disappeared on September 18.  The dog slipped through a sliding door from her son’s house.  Poor Janet and her family spent two weeks looking for the little dog.  She did what most worried animal owners do, she put up fliers and even called the town’s Animal Control Officer to see if they found the little lost dog.  They hadn’t – so they said.

Janet Torren contacted Stoughton Animal Control officer Kristin Bousquet and left a message about her missing dog.  Bousquet told her on September 21 in a phone message that she hadn’t found a dog matching Shani’s description.

It wasn’t until October 1 that Janet had called the microchip distributor, 24PetWatch.com, and was told that Shani’s chip had been scanned by a device licensed to the Stoughton animal shelter September 18.  The day Shani went missing.  So the little dog was found by Kristen Bousquet.  But what Janet didn’t know was that Bousquet had already given her dog away to another police officer.
Kristen Bousquet

Kristen Bousquet

Janet Torren called the acting police chief about the situation, threatened criminal action against Bousquet, and got her dog back within a half hour.

There were many mistakes made here.  First, it is unclear if Janet Torren had properly registered Shani’s microchip with her name, address, and phone number.  All she had was the number.  But even if the chip wasn’t registered, the active chip should have been a clue to this ACO that the dog had an owner.

Second, Kristin Bousquet violated the department’s policy of holding animals in its facility for a week, and lied!

Kristin Bousquet told Janet Torren three days after she found Shani that no such dog was found when in fact, she had already gave the dog away to a police officer for his girlfriend.

At a hearing on Bousquet, many supporters spoke out in her defense, but that didn’t make a difference.  Bousquet has been fired from the position she held for six years.  In a statement to the press, Kristin Bousquet says she was not “100 percent truthful”.

I wasn’t aware there were several degrees of truth.  Oh wait, yes there is.  In mathematics it’s called Fuzzy Logic.

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