Bernese Mountain Dog Chris Morris Found Dispute of Ownership of Nashville Dog Heading to Court

Several months ago Chris Morris found this dog, a Bernese Mountain dog, wandering the streets in his neighborhood, no ID, no tags. Morris took the dog in, got him cleaned up, got him licensed and vetted and began the months long search for the dog’s owner even placing ‘Found Dog’ ads online.

“If we found the dog and it had a name on it and had been wearing a tag, the first thing we would’ve done is taken him back,” said Morris.

Months later and no one claimed the dog that Morris named Ellis. He and his family loved the sweet and affectionate dog and he quickly became part of the family. Finally they gave up the search and happily accepted their new furry family member.

All was well until the day the dog disappeared from the Morris’ yard. They searched for their beloved Ellis, finding the dog in the yard of a neighbor, Virginia Gonzales-Garcia.

Gonzales-Garcia claims that the dog is hers. She says that someone stole the dog out of her yard months ago and that she and her family looked for the dog, a dog she adopted from a local shelter. She said he was wearing tags but that someone must have removed them.

“My husband, my daughter, we ended up walking down the street, down the alleys, looking for him and calling his name. We couldn’t find him anywhere,” said Gonzales-Garcia.

“We made an attempt to find the owner. It was longer than 30 days,” said Morris.

“If they want a dog, why don’t they buy them one or go to the shelter and adopt one like we did?” said Gonzales-Garcia.

For now, Ellis has been returned to the Morris family but a judge will decide who will get ownership of the dog in the end.

Personally, I have to wonder how hard they looked for the dog when Chris Morris tried for months to find the owner. When the dog was stolen from his yard he didn’t waste any time in tracking Ellis down.

Whose Dog Is It?

Then I went and read some of the comments associated with the story. Often, comments can tell a story of their own and these certainly did. Now I do take then with a grain of salt as the saying goes but still….. decide for yourself.

From Jay

If this happened to me, I would be crying tears of joy and hugging this man who kept “your” dog safe, brought him to the vet and gave him love and shelter. I have never lived in a place where there are so many strays. I have also never lived in a place where I see so many dogs without tags or any form of ID. I have to wonder how many dogs became strays because no one can find their owners. I heard more about him finding this dog, and trying to find the owner than I ever heard about you losing one. I never saw one flyer for a lost dog. Had your dog ever had tags, I would have returned him over a dozen times because he was in my yard more times than that. Had I known that the dog had an owner, I would have also called animal control and the SPCA. I have fed your dog, given it water and even cleaned what looked like an infection out of his eye. He has not just been in mine, but a handful of my neighbor’s yards as well. I couldn’t believe it was the same dog when he was playing at the dog park, with a collar and tags. Even with that beautiful blue eye, I didn’t think it was him because he looked so clean and healthy. No offense, but it seems like owning a dog for Garcia may have been a bigger responsibility than she realized. Why buy a dog when there are so many great dogs in shelters or running around in traffic on a daily basis in East Nashville?

From Clarice

I am glad to see that someone has taken this dog in and given it a good home. It is interesting that she said someone came in and stole her dog. They must have done it almost every day and then returned him at night because this dog has been running around for months and never once had a tag. I have seen this dog in the pouring rain and when it was snowing, sometimes running in and out of traffic. It is not just me, but entire neighborhood of people that have seen this dog running around without a tag. I would like to know what the rescue group that adopted him out would think of this situation. A dog that was out running around every day without any tags; and then as a solution to that, you tie him up. Maybe she should be thanking all of her neighbors for taking care of him, and really thanking this family for giving him this amazing home.

Sounds to me that this dog is well known is the area for running loose, being untagged, unkempt and improperly cared for. Even without these comments, my opinion would be to leave the dog with the Morris family. They cared for the dog, had him licensed and vetted, loved him and went over and above in trying to find the owner. Gonzales-Garcia, on the other hand, doesn’t sound like she made much of an attempt to really find him and if we can count on these commenters, doesn’t sound like she took much care when she had him.

So what do you think? Whose dog it is?

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