Discussion:
lost dog found, but already adopted
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Cate
2004-01-20 14:01:26 UTC
Permalink
Have you heard this story? It infuriates me. What doesn't make any sense
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
Mercury News

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
before.

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
owner.''

full story:
http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/local/7745335.htm

Cate
shelly
2004-01-20 15:32:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Cate
Have you heard this story? It infuriates me.
the thought of that happening to either of my dogs makes me
feel sick.
Post by Cate
What doesn't make any sense is that the original owners were
at the shelter every day looking for Bella--and she was there
the whole time.
the story doesn't say she looked every day, but it does say
she looked multiple times. i would be beyond furious if i'd
checked the shelter multiple times and my dog was there the
whole time, even if it weren't adopted by someone else.
where *was* the dog? and, presumably the shelter knew what
sort of dog the owner was searching for. surely they should
have shown her every GR currently there?

i can understand why the shelter can't take a dog away from
it's new adopters just because the former owner waltzes back
into the picture, but why can't there be a fail-safe for when
the shelter messes up? i realize the new adopters' ownership
rights need to be protected, but this seems hideously unfair
to me.

all i can say is, microchip your pets!!!
--
shelly (perfectly foul wench) and elliott and harriet
http://home.bluemarble.net/~scouvrette
Gwen Watson
2004-01-20 15:41:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by shelly
all i can say is, microchip your pets!!!
--
shelly (perfectly foul wench) and elliott and harriet
http://home.bluemarble.net/~scouvrette
Thanks for the reminder Shelly. Reznor's next conformation
show has a microchip clinic as well as an eye clinic. I plan
on doing both.

Gwen
shelly
2004-01-20 16:16:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gwen Watson
Thanks for the reminder Shelly. Reznor's next conformation
show has a microchip clinic as well as an eye clinic. I plan
on doing both.
good! considering the good arguments against keeping collars
on unattended dogs, it makes good sense to chip (and/or
tattoo).

now *i* need to remember to order new tags from the AKC for my
dogs. elliott's still got his original rubbery yellow tag,
but the number is bleeding pretty badly. harriet lost hers,
and now has her number written in Sharpie on her collar.
--
shelly (perfectly foul wench) and elliott and harriet
http://home.bluemarble.net/~scouvrette
David H
2004-01-20 17:18:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by shelly
good! considering the good arguments against keeping collars
on unattended dogs,
Perhaps this is a stupid question, but why are you not suppose to keep a
collar on unattended dogs?

David
Gwen Watson
2004-01-20 17:37:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by David H
Post by shelly
good! considering the good arguments against keeping collars
on unattended dogs,
Perhaps this is a stupid question, but why are you not suppose to keep a
collar on unattended dogs?
David
I do. But there is a chance/possibility that your dog could choke
to death in a case in which the collar got hung. One thing that
recently went around was two dog households in which
one of the dogs while playing gets their teeth/mouth
hung in other dogs collar. The other dogs chokes to
death because the owner can not get the collar off
in time.

Gwen
Tee
2004-01-20 17:04:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by shelly
i can understand why the shelter can't take a dog away from
it's new adopters just because the former owner waltzes back
into the picture, but why can't there be a fail-safe for when
the shelter messes up? i realize the new adopters' ownership
rights need to be protected, but this seems hideously unfair
to me.
But the shelter wouldn't be taking the dog away from the adopters because
the adopters didn't take possession of her yet. They may have paid the fee
and been told to wait until the dog is vetted before picking her up but if
they had possession of her then the former owner wouldn't have been playing
with her at the shelter. It was a simple matter of phoning the adopter and
telling them what happened then offering their money back. Sounds like this
may be more a case of the shelter not wanting to give a refund or have a
refund showing on their books *or* someone at the shelter really wanted that
dog so he/she gets preference over the former owner. No shelter, anywhere,
can tell me their hands are tied if they are still in physical possession of
the dog. That's a crock.
Post by shelly
all i can say is, microchip your pets!!!
That helps but certainly isn't fullproof. Alot of shelters have scanners
but don't use them.
--
Tara
Gwen Watson
2004-01-20 17:10:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tee
That helps but certainly isn't fullproof. Alot of shelters have scanners
but don't use them.
--
Tara
And alot of microchips move. And if one is as close to Mexico as I am
then I dog could go south of the border and never be found again. And
stranger things have occurred.

I don't see microchipping as full proof or even that grand. Too many
podunk towns with shelters in Texas that wouldn't even have a clue
how to locate a microchip, let alone what to do with the number if
the did. And I fairly serious about the above.

Unless your dog is lost in Austin, Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth, San Antonio
and possibly Corpus Christy I wouldn't expect the itty bitty towns to have
a clue that microchips even exist. Sad but true.

Gwen
shelly
2004-01-20 17:30:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gwen Watson
Unless your dog is lost in Austin, Houston, Dallas/Fort
Worth, San Antonio and possibly Corpus Christy I wouldn't
expect the itty bitty towns to have a clue that microchips
even exist. Sad but true.
unlike a tag, a chip is fairly permanent. if you *do* find
the dog, you can prove it's yours. no, it's not perfect, but
nothing is. doing nothing, because nothing is perfect, is not
acceptable to me.
--
shelly (perfectly foul wench) and elliott and harriet
http://home.bluemarble.net/~scouvrette
Gwen Watson
2004-01-20 17:34:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by shelly
Post by Gwen Watson
Unless your dog is lost in Austin, Houston, Dallas/Fort
Worth, San Antonio and possibly Corpus Christy I wouldn't
expect the itty bitty towns to have a clue that microchips
even exist. Sad but true.
unlike a tag, a chip is fairly permanent. if you *do* find
the dog, you can prove it's yours. no, it's not perfect, but
nothing is. doing nothing, because nothing is perfect, is not
acceptable to me.
--
shelly (perfectly foul wench) and elliott and harriet
http://home.bluemarble.net/~scouvrette
I definitely agree. Which is why Reznor is gonna get chipped
Feb. 14.

Gwen
Melinda Shore
2004-01-20 17:27:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gwen Watson
I don't see microchipping as full proof or even that grand.
I think it's a good idea to do what you can to 1) help
people reunite you with your dog, and 2) be able to prove
ownership. There's no downside to microchipping.
--
Melinda Shore - Software longa, hardware brevis - ***@panix.com

In 2004, 37% of all non-Social Security federal spending will
be paid for with borrowed money
shelly
2004-01-20 17:19:25 UTC
Permalink
They may have paid the fee and been told to wait until
the dog is vetted before picking her up but if they had
possession of her then the former owner wouldn't have been
playing with her at the shelter.
true. i hadn't thought about that, but you're right.
Sounds like this may be more a case of the shelter not
wanting to give a refund or have a refund showing on their
books
which would be a ludicrous excuse IMO.
*or* someone at the shelter really wanted that dog so he/she
gets preference over the former owner.
which would be *very* unethical IMO, but it sounds like the
most logical explanation to me. it just seems to me that
we're missing some important pieces of the puzzle. even in a
large shelter, i have trouble buying that an owner would miss
seeing their dog on multiple occasions. if the owner is
telling the truth, then the dog had to have been kept away
from public view.
No shelter, anywhere, can tell me their hands are tied if
they are still in physical possession of the dog. That's a
crock.
it sure sounds like one to me.
That helps but certainly isn't fullproof. Alot of shelters
have scanners but don't use them.
i realize that, but in a case like this, they'd have a *hell*
of a time rationalizing why a chipped pet was placed with a
new owner instead of being returned to it's original owner.
--
shelly (perfectly foul wench) and elliott and harriet
http://home.bluemarble.net/~scouvrette
Tee
2004-01-20 17:40:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by shelly
Sounds like this may be more a case of the shelter not
wanting to give a refund or have a refund showing on their
books
which would be a ludicrous excuse IMO.
Sounds ludicrous but isn't that farfetched really. Shelters who exist on
county funding, particularly in a county that doesn't devote much money to
the shelter, often face cutbacks depending on their quarterly reports. I
know of shelters who lose a portion of their funding each year if their
"return" rate exceeds a certain number per quarter. I think they are
allowed 5 returns every 3 months, anything over that looks bad. Some lose
funding based on how many euthanizations they did, the rationale supposedly
being that the shelter isn't make a strong enough effort to place the
animals. Most shelters have to fight, tooth & nail, for every little bit of
funding they get and unfortunately numbers on their books can negatively
impact them.
Post by shelly
*or* someone at the shelter really wanted that dog so he/she
gets preference over the former owner.
which would be *very* unethical IMO, but it sounds like the
most logical explanation to me. it just seems to me that
we're missing some important pieces of the puzzle. even in a
large shelter, i have trouble buying that an owner would miss
seeing their dog on multiple occasions. if the owner is
telling the truth, then the dog had to have been kept away
from public view.
I don't know if you remember but I recounted a story once or twice of when
Pebbles the Min. Dach. and Katie the GSP, dug out of my backyard (while I
was home) and were picked up in front of my *neighbor's house* almost
immediately..had to be because I noticed them missing fairly quickly.
Umpteen calls to AC and the shelter left me clueless. Supposedly no one had
seen my dogs. At the time I didn't know they'd been picked up by AC so we
searched well into the night for them and this happened in the morning. It
got so bad that we were searching the roadside drainage ditches. More calls
the next day also proved fruitless. Finally I went up to the shelter just
to be certain and there were my two dogs except that the girl upfront didn't
even know they were there. My description of them & their breed names
didn't ring any bells for her so I insisted to go back and see for myself.
They were in general population, the shelter here has the immediately
adoptable dogs on the right side & the stray-hold dogs on the left but all
are open to public viewing. Turns out AC forgot to log my dogs and the
shelter hadn't recorded the previous day's incoming yet. Back then it was
only a 3 day hold and this was day 2. I could have easily lost my dogs if
I'd kept taking other people's word that they weren't there. You'd *think*
that of the 2 departments solely responsible for taking in dogs that *one*
of them would have had a freakin clue.
Post by shelly
That helps but certainly isn't fullproof. Alot of shelters
have scanners but don't use them.
i realize that, but in a case like this, they'd have a *hell*
of a time rationalizing why a chipped pet was placed with a
new owner instead of being returned to it's original owner.
Yes, it certainly would have been insurance for the owner.
--
Tara
Suja
2004-01-20 17:49:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tee
only a 3 day hold and this was day 2. I could have easily lost my dogs if
I'd kept taking other people's word that they weren't there. You'd *think*
that of the 2 departments solely responsible for taking in dogs that *one*
of them would have had a freakin clue.
Around here, if you call in asking about whether they've found a lost
dog, they'll tell you to come down and look for yourself. And you have
to ask them to see the ones in quarantine, being vetted, etc. Turns out
they've had way too many cases of people giving descriptions (big, black
dog turns out to be a medium sized dark brown dog, for example) that
don't fit the dogs, and then got all upset that the shelter wasn't able
to ID their dog.

Suja
shelly
2004-01-20 18:09:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tee
Most shelters have to fight, tooth & nail, for every little
bit of funding they get and unfortunately numbers on their
books can negatively impact them.
*believe* me, i know how financially strapped county offices
are. it seems to me, though, that the "returned to owner"
stats would be pretty important. and, IME, most shelters
require that the original owner pay a fine when picking up a
found dog, so the shelter wouldn't be out any money if it had
to return the adoption fee to the adoptive owner.
Post by Tee
Back then it was only a 3 day hold and this was day 2. I
could have easily lost my dogs if I'd kept taking other
people's word that they weren't there. You'd *think* that of
the 2 departments solely responsible for taking in dogs that
*one* of them would have had a freakin clue.
that's a sobering thought.

the shelters i've dealt with have *insisted* that the owner
come in person to look at the dogs, just to avoid that sort of
situation. the old director (and staff) of the Muncie shelter
wouldn't even hazard a guess as to whether or not your animal
was there, no matter how well you could describe it.
--
shelly (perfectly foul wench) and elliott and harriet
http://home.bluemarble.net/~scouvrette
Cate
2004-01-20 17:22:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tee
Sounds like this
may be more a case of the shelter not wanting to give a refund or have
a refund showing on their books *or* someone at the shelter really
wanted that dog so he/she gets preference over the former owner.
The latter possibility makes me feel sick to my stomach, that someone could
earmark my dog for themselves or their friends, and adopt him out after
hiding him from me.

Cate
Debbie S
2004-01-20 18:09:15 UTC
Permalink
From: ***@yahoo.com
<The latter possibility makes me feel sick to my stomach, that someone
could earmark my dog for themselves or their friends, and adopt him out
after hiding him from me.>

Well-meaning people working in rescue and shelters sometimes like to
think they *know* what the dog's life was like, based on how the dog
presents itself. If the dog is thin, he obviously wasn't loved and/or
was dumped. If the dog has wounds, he obviously was abused.

A couple of months ago, I got a call on my cell {grrrrr!} from someone
who had found a pit bull four days previous. The dog was thin, and had
'road rash' on it's chest. This nutcase took the dog in for shots and
*neutering*, he and the *vet* decided that this dog's owner obviously
dumped the dog out of a moving car. I told him that he had no right to
neuter that dog, as he was under the obligation of our law to report
having found the dog, and that the owner had a right to reclaim it. I
suggested that the dog could have been stolen, been part of a 'custody'
battle, the owner could be in the hospital with someone else looking
after the dog. But nooooo, this idiot with his all-knowing attitude
just KNEW that the owner was unfit, yet wanted *me* to take the dog.
Fat chance, that. I told him there was no way in hell I was getting
involved in the mess he'd created, that he'd have to dig himself out.
The he got mad at _me, saying it would be MY fault if he put the dog
down. ;-)

People suck.

Debbie
Cate
2004-01-20 17:21:00 UTC
Permalink
shelly <***@bluemarble.net> wrote in news:***@tesla.bluemarble.net:

i would be beyond furious if i'd
Post by shelly
checked the shelter multiple times and my dog was there the
whole time, even if it weren't adopted by someone else.
where *was* the dog? and, presumably the shelter knew what
sort of dog the owner was searching for. surely they should
have shown her every GR currently there?
I agree. This part of the story sounds very fishy. Even if the dog was
temporarily removed from the facility--at an off-site vet visit, say--IMO
the shelter had an obligation to tell the owner 'Oh, and we also have this
*other* GR that might be yours. Come back at 3pm when she'll be back.'
Post by shelly
i can understand why the shelter can't take a dog away from
it's new adopters just because the former owner waltzes back
into the picture, but why can't there be a fail-safe for when
the shelter messes up?
i realize the new adopters' ownership
Post by shelly
rights need to be protected, but this seems hideously unfair
to me.
It seems to me that the prospective adopter's rights should be negated if
the shelter is acting against its published policies or against municipal
code to have strays on display. I'd hope so, anyway.

I'd consider suing in this case. I hope the original owner does, if nothing
else but to get some answers from the shelter about where her dog was
during the times she visited but didn't see her.

Cate
shelly
2004-01-20 17:48:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Cate
I agree. This part of the story sounds very fishy. Even if
the dog was temporarily removed from the facility--at an
off-site vet visit, say--IMO the shelter had an obligation to
tell the owner 'Oh, and we also have this *other* GR that
might be yours. Come back at 3pm when she'll be back.'
yep.
Post by Cate
It seems to me that the prospective adopter's rights should
be negated if the shelter is acting against its published
policies or against municipal code to have strays on display.
I'd hope so, anyway.
i would hope so, but i wouldn't want to assume anything. i
can see how protecting the adopter's rights, regardless of
whether or not the shelter was acting appropriately, *could*
invalidate the original owner's claim to the dog. yucky, but
i can see how it could happen.
Post by Cate
I'd consider suing in this case. I hope the original owner
does, if nothing else but to get some answers from the
shelter about where her dog was during the times she visited
but didn't see her.
oh yeah. i'm not sue-happy, but if something like that
happened to me, i'd *definitely* take whatever legal action i
could. if nothing else, i'd want to stop the same thing from
happening to anyone else.
--
shelly (perfectly foul wench) and elliott and harriet
http://home.bluemarble.net/~scouvrette
Melinda Shore
2004-01-20 17:28:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Cate
I'd consider suing in this case.
*Consider*? I'd be all over that mess in a heartbeat.
--
Melinda Shore - Software longa, hardware brevis - ***@panix.com

In 2004, 37% of all non-Social Security federal spending will
be paid for with borrowed money
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