The little white fluffy dog arrived in a sealed crate with a pet passport, veterinary certificate and all his paperwork in order. But animal customs staff at the airport were unable to read his microchip with the reader they had available and so wouldn’t authorize his entry into Spain.
Instead his owner, Irene Sola, who was waiting to collect her pet, was told that if she couldn't provide a machine that could detect the microchip then the dog would be returned to the USA or put to sleep.
A petition launched on Change.org calling for a swift resolution to the case received over 57,000 signatures by mid-afternoon on Monday.
Sola spent the weekend taking as many different microchip readers as she could get her hands on to the airport but by Monday morning 12 different machines had been used without any success.
"We have tried to read the microchip with different readers but we haven’t had any luck, maybe because it is American," read the text on the Change.org petition.
"The dog is in no condition to be returned to the United States and we cannot for the world allow him to be sacrificed," it continued.
The puppy, who was brought from Ecuador via New York to join his owner in Spain, had been waiting in the sealed crate since arriving Friday morning, without being given water, food or any exercise until permission was finally granted for his crate to be opened on Sunday evening.
The vet in New York who facilitated the puppy’s paperwork ahead of the trip to Spain has offered to send a notarized document confirming that the puppy is correctly vaccinated.
The animal welfare political party PACMA has offered to take on the case and one of its lawyers will go before a judge on Monday in Barcelona to argue for the dog to be allowed entry into Spain.