A "sweetheart" of a dog now in a California shelter may be really, really far from home. His microchip says the knee-high, light tan Saluki came from Saudi Arabia.
The neutered male dog brought to a Carlsbad animal shelter last week has an implanted microchip that was sold to the U.S. Military Training Mission, headquartered in Riyadh, Lt. Dan DeSousa of San Diego County's Animal Services Department told The Associated Press.
The dog was found June 15 near Escondido, about 30 miles north of San Diego. DeSousa said he believes someone in the military owns the dog and likely brought him from overseas. But they haven't been able to track down the owner, even after speaking with veterinarians who work with the U.S. military in Saudi Arabia.
"In our hearts and minds, we know this dog belongs to someone in the military. For all they've done for us, it is only fair we try to get the dog reunited," DeSousa said. DeSousa said he doesn't know the dog's name but he wears a tag that reads "Pet Rejuvenizer."
Plenty of people have said they would take him but authorities hope the real owner will come forward. "There's a lot of unanswered questions, and dogs can't talk, so we're kind of restricted as to what information we can get out of him," DeSousa said, chuckling. "We're trying to put the word out. He is a sweetheart of a dog."
A pure bred Saluki, estimated to be 5 to 6 years old, stands in an enclosure at the San Diego County Animal Shelter, where his owner is being sought by personnel Tuesday, June 23, in San Diego. Animal Services traced the dog's microchip and learned it had been sold to the U.S. Military Training Mission headquartered in Riyadh, according to Lt. Dan DeSousa of San Diego County's Animal Services department. AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi.