MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. -- A Martin County man says his lost dog, "Prince," is home after he was missing for five days.
As he’s celebrating the homecoming, he also has a new problem.
His dog came home with staples in his back, where he says someone removed the dog’s microchip, used to track the dog.
Fier says someone surgically took the microchip out of his dog without his permission, putting the dog through pain and an unnecessary surgery.
Now, he wants to press charges for animal cruelty.
Dr. Bob Fier says his dog is terrified of storms, and has run away several times during storms by getting out a screen door.
“He’s freaked about lightning and thunder. That’s the thing that gets him the most,” Fier said.
He came home last Monday to find Prince had escaped again. He searched the neighborhood but couldn’t find Prince.
Tuesday, he learned a good Samaritan found the dog on Monday and dropped it off at a local veterinarian’s office.
That vet scanned the microchip, and found it was still registered to the rescue organization where Fier got the dog.
There was also a second name on the chip for a woman who used to work for that rescue organization, but Fier says she hadn’t worked there for nearly a year.
Still, Fier says she was involved in picking up the dog, whether she picked up the dog or instructed someone else to pick up Prince, claiming to be someone with the rescue.
“I was negligent in not changing the chip when I first got him,” Fier said.
Fier said things got worse when he got a call from the people who picked up Prince, saying they knew where he was.
However, they would not tell him an address, only generic areas for where he could look.
At one point, they also claimed he escaped again, but they would not say where he escaped from.
He spent days posting signs in the areas where he thought the dog might be.
“You lost my dog, You haven’t done anything. You haven’t reported it to police. You haven’t given anybody a description. You’re obstructing me from finding my dog,” said Fier.
Fier questions if the dog was actually lost, or if someone was just trying to keep the dog from him.
By Friday, Fier says he got a call from a Jensen Beach PetSmart that someone dropped his dog off and left.
PetSmart knew to call him for the dog because he had left a missing dog flier at that location.
“At first they said, 'Does your dog have back problems? Or surgery on its back?' I said no,” Fier said.
That’s when Fier says he picked up Prince and found the staples in his back. He says the dog was also groggy and had ointment over his eyes, which he says is common when putting an animal under anesthesia.
He took Prince to the vet that originally ran the microchip.
’She went over it with her finder and said no, it was right there. It’s not there now,” Fier said.
Fier worries someone tried to steal the dog and changed their mind, or had intentions of selling the dog.
Regardless, he wants to press charges for grand theft and animal cruelty.
"That was an unnecessary surgery,” Fier said. Now, he will have to take the staples out and have another microchip put in.
The Martin County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the case.
WPTV reached out to the woman in question who was registered on the microchip.
A different woman called back on her behalf claiming she did not remove the chip, but did not confirm or deny if she asked a vet to remove the chip.