Background check my puppy!
January 1, 2017 4:58 PM   Subscribe

I adopted a dog with a small tattoo that I'm assuming serves as some kind of identifier. I'd like to find out what information is available about her as I know almost nothing about her except for what the rescuing vet told me. Help me find out what the tattoo means and if I can find out her birthdate and breeder/state/area of origin.

In August, I unexpectedly adopted a puppy. I've wanted one for a long time and didn't get one for various reasons, but this one fell into my possession due to an odd collection of circumstances. Long story short: I work at a gym, one of our members is a vet in Brooklyn at a hospital where I had previously taken a cat for treatment, and she was fostering a puppy who had been surrendered to the vet group due to the original owners being unwilling or unable to pay for its treatment. Knowing I would love a puppy, the vet brought her in to meet me and I wound up falling in love and adopting her.

Some details: her original name was Lala and she is a Russian toy terrier. She was 9 weeks old the first week of August, so I'm assuming she was born around Memorial Day 2016. Her original owners brought her in for treatment at 8 weeks old because someone sat on her. At the time she was only 1.5 pounds and had suffered some internal damage and needed neurological scans and xrays to make sure she hadn't suffered more damage. For whatever reason, the original owners opted to euthanize her instead of pay for her treatment (please, no discussion or comments about the owners, I don't know what their circumstances were and I don't want them to be demonized here), but my friend the vet intervened and persuaded them to surrender custody to allow the puppy to live and receive treatment paid for by a rescue group. Those are all the details I have from the vet, and she doesn't have any additional information other than the names of the original owners. For various reasons, contacting them is out of the question.

I've since renamed the puppy Ruby and she is happy, perfectly healthy, and ridiculously stinkin' cute. But I'm really curious about her origins. She's a purebred, and she has a tattoo on her belly that I suspect links to a registry somewhere that has more information about her. I've searched online but many pages about Russian toy terriers are in Russian and/or don't have any registry information. Here is a picture of her tattoo (which appears to read D2B 3219 or D2B 3210, it's a little unclear).

Please help me find out where Ruby comes from so I can celebrate her actual birthday when it comes! I love this tiny pup more than anything and I would love to know more about her if possible.

Requisite pics are on her Instagram here. (Mods: If this counts as a self link, let me know and I will upload pics somewhere else and we can edit the link).
posted by Fuego to Pets & Animals (7 answers total)
Have you contacted the US breed club? The chair of the rescue committee (and possibly its entire membership) is Tammy Tackett at [NOT DOXXING]. They will know more about how to read the tattoo.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:11 PM on January 1, 2017

I see it as DZB.
posted by fritley at 8:20 PM on January 1, 2017

Tattoos on the belly usually mean the dog spayed. If she has papers it may be her AKC number to deter her being stolen
posted by wwax at 8:49 PM on January 1, 2017 [3 favorites]

Best answer: It's not uncommon for breeders to tattoo their dogs, especially the females. We've had two that had breeder tattoos on them. I don't know that you'll get much useful info off of the tats since every breeder does things differently.

Also, you might be curious about her origins... but that may not be a rabbit hole you want to go down. You've got the little girl, so love her and play with her and don't get too caught up about her past, because she sure ain't worried about it.
posted by azpenguin at 9:17 PM on January 1, 2017 [4 favorites]

My dog has a tattoo! Purebred AKC. I would reach out to breeders of the type.
posted by corb at 9:44 PM on January 1, 2017

Best answer: I'd be a bit careful with this, honestly. Breeders, as well as rescues, often require dogs be returned to them rather than be turned over to other rescues or random people. Lawsuits are uncommon, as are forcible retrievals of dogs, but it has happened (at least on the rescue side). In your shoes, I'd be worried that if you find the breeder, they will want the dog back or that they will contact the dog's original owners, who may want her back now that she's healed. Certainly it could make trouble for the dog's original owners, if not for you, and it sounds like you don't want that. I'd just love her up and forget about past origins as much as possible.
posted by MeadowlarkMaude at 7:00 AM on January 2, 2017 [7 favorites]

Response by poster: azpenguin and MeadowlarkMaude, I hadn't thought of it before, but you're probably right, the potential repercussions of investigating this might be too risky. I doubt the breeder would demand her back, especially because she's due to be spayed very soon, but that small chance gives me pause. I also don't want the original owners to get in trouble, even though the fact that they spent so much on a puppy and then weren't willing or able to spend the money to treat her when she was injured makes me shake my head. For all her vet paperwork so far I've stated that her birthday is May 25, so I guess we'll just stick to that and accept that it might be a few days off. I might be able to have the vet investigate a little deeper to see what information they have on file for her; perhaps her actual birthdate is on the intake paperwork from when she was originally admitted to the hospital. Either way, I'm grateful Ruby came into my life, she's the sweetest tiny pupper ever and I love her more every day!
posted by Fuego at 10:11 AM on January 2, 2017 [1 favorite]

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