Houston sisters reunited with lost puppy who was adopted to another family despite being microchipped
HOUSTON – Two determined sisters were reunited with their beloved Maltese poodle Byron after an arduous battle over him.
Savannah Marino, 25, and 17-year-old Brianna Marino first spoke to KPRC 2 in June when they learned that Byron, despite a microchip, had been found and adopted to another family by the Poodle Rescue of Houston group.
The story of the Marino sisters on KPRC 2 went viral, with viewers and the online community connecting the sisters with the help they needed getting their dog back.
2 Houston sisters crushed after a lost puppy was adopted to another family despite being microchipped
“I think it’s really amazing. I mean, it still feels like a dream now, ”Brianna said.
Brianna and Savannah can finally sleep much better now. Sometime between December 31, 2019 and January 1, 2020, her beloved dog Byron escaped her yard.
“There have been many sleepless nights blaming myself and just crying,” Savannah told KPRC2’s Rose-Ann Aragon in June.
The two sisters have done their due diligence, alerting the microchip company, their neighborhood sites, and social media.
“Hundreds of hours of work,” said Savannah.
Brianna kept Byron’s microchip information in her wallet in case she ever needed it. The two checked frequently, but after more than a year they began to lose hope.
“We happened to check our microchip account 1.5 years later only to find that Byron was no longer on our account,” said Savannah. “So we reached out to the microchip company to see what we could and they told us that the Houston Poodle Rescue had moved him to another family. They never contacted us and never turned to us to let us know. “
The sisters contacted Houston Poodle Rescue, which informed them that their hands were tied. Houston Poodle Rescue announced to the sisters that the new owners were not interested in returning Byron as they had adopted him.
“Byron is understandably cute so I’m not blaming them too much for not wanting to return him, but we’re definitely glad he’s home,” said Savannah.
However, the sisters had a headache bringing him home.
“[The Poodle Rescue of Houston] tried to make us a deal so we would let go of the situation but we didn’t want to accept it. We wanted Byron home, ”said Savannah.
Byron was very special to the family. Her uncle owned Byron’s mother, and the sisters had helped him bottle-feed him. They had had Byron since 2017 after their uncle gave it to the Marinos. The dog was Brianna’s support as Savannah battled cancer.
“A lot of people were really disappointed that something like this could happen,” said Brianna.
“You’ve been very supportive,” said Savannah. “It was thanks to one of the viewers who commented [KPRC’s] Post that we could find our lawyer Courtney. “
The sisters were linked to a veteran attorney and animal lover, Courtney Gahm-Oldham, who began work immediately, while trusting the sisters to have done much of the investigative work before interfering.
“[Gahm-Oldham] and the rest of the Frost Brown Todd Attorneys family were of great help getting Byron home. They opened the lawsuit, pushed the Houston Poodle Rescue to a settlement, and brought Byron to our home, ”said Savannah.
Marino’s Legal Department said they uncovered emails and other documents that worried the sisters.
“The Houston Poodle Rescue and the Microchip Company both knew we were the legal owners of Byron and decided not to notify us or contact us in any way,” said Savannah.
Marino’s lawyers also said the microchip company’s fine print allows them to argue that what they did in the situation is perfectly legal. The Marinos are still taking legal action against the company.
“You trust these companies to take care of your dog. These are your family members. You trust them that if your dog is ever lost, or taken away, or whatever the case, they will be there to help you get your dog home, and not just catch him because someone else said it was okay ”said.
With the help of Gahm-Oldham, Byron was returned to the family in less than a month.
“We had a little meeting so he could be home,” said Savannah.
Soon everything was the same as before.
“I am very happy to be spending so many holidays together, especially Christmas!” Said Brianna.
“Never take your eyes off him again,” said Savannah.
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