Yesterday, the rescue was contacted by people claiming to be Homer’s prior owners. They sent photos of their dog, Stew, for comparison.
I carefully compared the markings in the pictures. See the unusual pattern on the dog’s right leg? Identical. You can also clearly see the damaged right eye in both photos (my photo of Homer on the left, submitted photo of Stew on the right):
I’m not a professional dog identifier, but I’d say it’s the same animal.
The City of Tallahassee’s animal control ordinance states that after a five-day hold at the animal shelter, any animal picked up by Animal Control becomes the property of the City. So the owners do not have any legal right to this dog.
Additionally, the rescue called the dog’s prior vet. He’d not been seen since 2010, and not had heartworm medication since 2008. The prior owners said that the dog had gotten out several times, and on one occasion was hit by a car (which injured his right eye).
The rescue lady told me that the prior owners did not necessarily want to re-claim or re-adopt their dog, but just wanted to know that he was safe.
Which he is.
It’s helpful to have a more complete veterinary history on Homer, and I’m glad that his prior owners know he’s OK. Hopefully his future owner is looking at his Petfinder profile right this minute. Wish him luck.