2004-01-20 14:01:26 UTC
is that the original owners were at the shelter every day looking for
Bella--and she was there the whole time. If the Humane Society has
explained how that can happen, it hasn't been reported. The cynical side
of me thinks a shelter volunteer was holding Bella for a friend, keeping
her out of sight, out of the kennels.
S.J. WOMAN LEARNS PAINFUL LESSON ON ANIMAL SHELTERS' RULES
By Connie Skipitares
This lost-dog tale almost had a happy ending.
Niki Karanastasis couldn't believe her luck at finding her 2-year-old
golden retriever, Bella, at the Humane Society six days after the dog
escaped her San Jose yard. But the reunion turned to heartbreak when she
learned her beloved pet had been adopted by a new owner just hours
Officials at the Humane Society Silicon Valley offered a brief apology,
but said five days is the limit they shelter stray dogs picked up
without ID tags before putting them up for adoption.
``I couldn't believe it. How could this happen?'' Karanastasis, a 44-
year-old hairdresser, asked as she broke into tears. ``I was looking at
her, playing with her, but I couldn't have her. How could they tell me,
`You don't own this dog?' ''
Humane Society officials say they understand Karanastasis' anguish, but
their hands are tied.
``This is a difficult situation and I do feel bad for the owner,'' said
Christine Benninger, president of the Humane Society. ``But we're
following state law here. After five days, the Humane Society becomes