Canine Rights

Two Different People Claim Ownership of Lost Dog at Denver Animal Shelter

UPDATED July 26, 2018, 9:50pm

The Denver Animal Shelter says two different people are claiming ownership of a lost dog that ended up in their care – and now they must determine who gets to take her home.

St. Louis, Missouri resident Jason Senseney adopted Molly many years ago when she was just a puppy. Like many pet parents, he had Molly microchipped so that she would be returned home in the event she was ever lost.

About five years ago, when Molly was 6, she escaped from home and didn’t return. As the weeks, months, and years passed by, Senseney assumed the worst.

That was until now, when a lost dog wound up at the Denver Animal Shelter hundreds of miles away from home. Her microchip registration led the shelter to Senseney.

“My dog ran away five years ago, you know, we pretty much thought she was dead and gone,” Senseney told 9News. “And Saturday we get a call from Avid, the [microchip} company, that your dog’s been found and here it is.”

Excited to see his dog again, Jason dropped everything and drove 800 miles overnight to Denver. But, when he arrived at the shelter to pick up his dog, the reunion didn’t go as anticipated.

The shelter told Senseney another person was claiming to own Molly.

“They told me someone else is trying to claim her,” he said. “And I was like, this dog is microchipped, that’s the point of the microchip, to show who the owner is. How is this guy trying to claim her?”

Shelter officials confirmed the dog’s microchip is registered to Senseney, but, they say, the microchip isn’t the only thing they use to confirm ownership of a pet.

“It’s a really challenging situation to be in for everybody,” said Tracy Koss, the Customer Care Manager at the Denver Animal Shelter. “It’s very emotional. We’re struggling to make sure that we are being responsible, and again, that we are looking at all the information that we have, not making any rash decision, and taking guidance from our legal team.”

While the shelter works to determine Molly’s rightful owner, Senseney is waiting in Colorado, hoping for a positive outcome and ready to take his long-lost dog home at a moment’s notice. While he’s not angry with the shelter, he’s frustrated with what’s happening.

“I don’t understand at all, it’s frustrating and heartbreaking,” he said. “It shouldn’t be going this way. I should have been in and out.”

This heartbreaking situation could easily have been avoided if Molly had been scanned for a microchip 5 years ago when she was found. Remember, if you find a lost dog, any shelter or veterinarian can quickly scan for a microchip and help reunite the animal with his or her family.

UPDATE: The Denver Animal Shelter has announced that Molly will return home to St. Louis with her original, registered owner Jason Senseney.



  1. Carl McLean

    Jul 31, 2018 at 9:03 am

    This would be an absolute nightmare! This is just another reason why having your dog chipped is a must!

  2. Jennette

    Jul 26, 2018 at 12:51 pm

    She was probably stolen and that’s why the person didn’t check the chip. I’d be investigating where those people lived prior to moving to where the dog was found. Maybe they bought her off the person who stole her. at any rate. She is stolen property.

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