Addressing the responsibilities microchips raise

Addressing the responsibilities microchips raise

source-image
Jul 01, 2005


Dr. Lacroix
We took in a boarder from a longtime, good client, who said the pet was a stray that he acquired from the local groomer. During our exam, we found a microchip and were able to locate and contact the original owner, who said the dog had been stolen about six weeks earlier. What are our rights and responsibilities in situations like this?

"You fulfilled your ethical obligation to contact the registered owner," says attorney Charlotte Lacroix, DVM, a consultant with Veterinary Business Advisors Inc. in Whitehouse Station, N.J., and Amber Williams, a fourth-year Texas A&M University veterinary student and the president of the Veterinary Business Association. Your next step: Give the dog back to your client.

"The clinic cannot and should not hold the dog," Dr. Lacroix says. "Give the information you found to your client and let him or her deal with the matter."

And keep in mind, she says, you shouldn't give the client's information to the registered owner of the animal. Client confidentiality rules mean you'd need a subpoena to release that information.

The registered owner could also get an injunction against the clinic to block the animal's return to the client, Lacroix says. However, you'd probably return the animal to your client before the original pet owner could get an injunction filed.

Hot topics on dvm360

Reality TV and the veterinarian: Discussing mainstream dog training advice with clients

Your clients may be getting behavior advice from cable TV. Get your opinion in the mix.

Vetcetera: The complex topic of canine fear-related aggression

A guided tour of resources for addressing this popular and complicated subject, featuring advice from Dr. John Ciribassi.

Blog: Election results pose obstacles for veterinary prescription law

Flip in U.S. Senate's majority may slow progress of Fairness to Pet Owners Act.

The war between shelters, veterinarians needs to end

Despite practitioners’ legitimate gripes, they’re hurting themselves.

7 steps to a better relationship between veterinarians and rescue groups

A DVM in the city shares his advice to veterinary practices for working with rescues.