Man Says Kennel Gave Him Back Wrong Dog

April 17, 2008 | By Pet Pulse Staff Reports | Category: Strange But True | 219 comments
Tags: strange but true, dogs

LAKE OSWEGO, Ore. -- Ken Griggs left his dog, Callie, in the care of a boarding kennel before he went on vacation. But when went to pick her up, he says he was given back a different dog.

After attempting to resolve Griggs’ concerns, the kennel owner has said she won’t do anything more to help.

Griggs left his black Labrador retriever at the Tail Wag-Inn in Dundee, Ore. before going on a week-long vacation.

He told The Oregonian newspaper that when he picked Callie up from the kennel, he immediately noticed the Lab he was given wasn’t acting like his dog.

“It’s a sweet dog,” he said of the alleged imposter. “It’s tough now because now we’ve had the dog for 10-plus days, and the kids -- especially the younger ones -- start to get attached to the dog. I like it, but I want mine.”

Allison Best owns the Tail Wag-Inn, and said the Griggses have their dog. But two clues indicate maybe Callie isn’t Callie after all.

First off, the family cat, which used to get along swimmingly with the dog, hissed at it after returning from the shelter. Secondly, the pre-kennel Callie knew how to come when called -- a command that is apparently lost on post-kennel Callie.

After Griggs began to believe he had the wrong dog, he returned it to the kennel -- at which point Best began to investigate the matter. She called the owners of seven other black Labradors which had been boarded at the shelter during Callie’s stay.

Each owner, save for one, reported normal dog behavior. That one person said her dog, Dixie, had a “personality change.”

It turns out that while at the boarding facility, Callie was kept in the same kennel with another black lab -- which was Dixie. And yet another clue -- post-kennel Callie responded to “Dixie.”

Nonetheless, Dixie’s owner was certain she had the right animal.

But Best still wanted the owners to meet, so she arranged a meeting for March 31. When Griggs and his family showed up at the facility, they walked around and a black Lab got excited when they passed by.

Meanwhile, Dixie’s owner called to say she was running late -- just as the Griggs’ became convinced that the excited dog in the kennel was Callie.

So they took the dog home before Dixie’s owner arrived -- it was the same dog Mr. Griggs returned a day before.

“It’s uncanny how much it looks like my dog,” he said. “I’m sure it was happy to see us and recognized us from the day before and mistook us.”

Yet more evidence that post-kennel Callie was a different dog were revealed during a trip to the veterinarian. The dog didn’t show signs from elbow surgery pre-kennel Callie had undergone.

An X-ray revealed post-kennel Callie didn’t have steel sutures that were used during spaying. And rapid weight loss during the week-long stay also seems to have occurred.

“We know it’s not Callie,” said Andrea Frost, the dog’s vet, in an interview with The Oregonian.

The situation may turn in to a legal battle, because Best said she’s done trying to work things out.

“Mr. Griggs has kind of lost his credibility with me the second time he came into the kennel with his family and reclaimed the same dog,” said Best. “If he can’t recognize his dog, I don’t feel I can be any help.”

Pet Pulse’s call to the kennel concerning their procedures for managing canine identity was not returned by press time.

However, Frost told Pet Pulse that in her clinic it is standard procedure to remove the animal’s collar and replace it with a paper one similar to those used in human hospitals.

“We take collars off because they can get caught on things,” she said. “Yes, they can get torn off if the digs are playing roughly, but that’s very infrequent.”

Frost said this is another reason microchips are vital. Short of the objective medical evidence indicating that post-kennel Callie is not Callie at all, a microchip would resolve the matter in an instant.

Tell us what you think about “Man Says Kennel Gave Him Back Wrong Dog” below. You can share your favorite videos by clicking on the ZootooTV tab. You can send us your story ideas by e-mailing us at or by calling us at 877-777-4204.

Matt Van Hoven, Pet Pulse, and The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Comments (148)

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6 years ago

Odd way to keep control of the animals, but next story showed it solved

Good Point | Reply ›

Kathy R.

Kathy R.
6 years ago

You would think the kennel would be able to keep better track of the dogs they are boarding!

Good Point | Reply ›

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