Lapeer Co Pound Sells Family’s Purebred Dog “to the Highest Bidder”

Daisy, as pictured on the WNEM website.

Daisy, as pictured on the WNEM website.

Too many animal shelters seem to be engaged in a war against pet owners – insistent upon breaking families apart while demanding to be called “compassionate” and “humane” by critics.

Like many pet owners, Steve and Kathy Foster of Lapeer Co, MI consider their dogs family.  They have pictures of their dogs on the family portrait wall in their home.  And when they found a stray border collie in rough shape last month, they were willing to help.

The Fosters took the dog, whom they named Daisy, to the vet to get her the care she needed, including vaccinations and spay surgery.  But then Daisy got lost.  The Fosters searched the area, called neighbors and local vets and posted about Daisy on social media in an effort to find her.  After a week, they learned Daisy had been impounded by Lapeer Co Animal Control.  Kathy Foster called the pound and asked what she needed to do in order to redeem her dog:

She said she was told she had to pay $180 and she didn’t have much time. That’s because the shelter had two people ready to adopt Daisy.

Having just paid the vet $420 to fix Daisy up, the Fosters didn’t immediately have $180 to bail her out of the pound:

“I said I don’t have $180 right now. And she said well that’s the only way you can get her back,” said Kathy Foster.

Lapeer Co AC reportedly sold Daisy just minutes after Kathy Foster called and said she didn’t have the cash. Local news station WNEM asked the Lapeer Co pound director why Daisy wasn’t allowed to return to her family. The director cast blame on the Fosters, indicating they were at fault for failing to report the stray dog and failing to immediately license her. And steel yourself, because this next part is jarring:

TV5 spoke to Carla Frantz, the Lapeer County Animal Control chief, over the phone on Monday evening. She said the dog exhausted the county’s four day stray hold policy, and once it does that, it becomes county property. Because the Foster’s could not come up with the money, Daisy, who now goes by the name Bella, was adopted out to the highest bidder.

It sounds like the Lapeer Co pound saw dollar signs when they looked at freshly vetted, purebred Daisy. And they were so eager to collect those dollars, they wasted no time selling her “to the highest bidder” when they got the call that Daisy’s family couldn’t immediately pay the ransom.

The Fosters are heartbroken and want the pound to change its policy about breaking up families for profit. It’s too late for their family, but they hope to spare another family the same pain in future.

The Lapeer Co pound killed roughly half its animals last year. The state of Michigan does not require them to disclose how many families they broke up while auctioning owned pets so that number is unknown. But this year, we know it’s at least one.  Oh and remember – don’t criticize, it’s a hard job and we all want the same thing and DOMFL.

(Thank you Clarice for the link.)

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16 Comments

  1. Michele

     /  October 29, 2014

    While I feel bad for this family, what about the family who originally lost the dog? The article doesn’t mention if any effort to find the original owner was done. In Illinois, anyone who finds a stray dog is required to notify animal control because that’s the first place people contact to find a lost dog.

    Reply
    • *Presumably*, Lapeer Co AC did their job while holding this dog for the mandatory period and checked their lost dog reports, listed her online, etc. They apparently found no owner. As such, by the time Mrs. Foster called to reclaim Daisy, they knew there was no other party claiming to own the dog.

      Reply
  2. db

     /  October 29, 2014

    My guess is that the Fosters probably did try to find her owner. There are great lost and found pet sites. Regardless, LCAC had no business selling Daisy when they knew she had a family that wanted and loved her. Too bad the family couldn’t have let people know. My guess is that there would have been many people who would have pitched in to help raise the money. LCAC didn’t give them the option of time or a payment plan, apparently. We have some good facilities in Michigan, but way too many really awful ones. I’m sorry for the Fosters who clearly loved their dog. Shame on LCAC for what they did.

    Reply
  3. This just turns my stomach. The whole “sure, we know it’s YOUR dog, but we have adopters lined up with cash in hand” attitude makes me wonder how the directors of so-called “shelter” such as this one sleep at night.

    Reply
    • They rationalize it with “well, people who pay more money value their pets more”.

      Which, of course, utter bullshit.

      Actually, given their kill rates, I’m pretty sure that they don’t think much about it one way or the other.

      Reply
  4. First of all the shelter wasn’t acting in the best interest of the dog. I don’t know how they do it else where but I know that when I get my dog vaccinated for rabies, I get the license right there at the vets office. My dog who is beautiful was picked up when he got out and the only thing I had to pay was forty dollars to “spring him from jail”. We need to change the way shelters are run in this country. First get the money hungry people out of there. I can almost guarantee this lady made a profit on the sale of the dog.

    Reply
  5. Clarice

     /  October 29, 2014

    For anyone that is interested, here is some additional information on this pound. In July of 2013, Carla Frantz was at the center of a number of allegations, including euthanizing five dogs that animal rescue groups had expressed a desire to foster and possibly breeding animals without a license at her Mussey Township home. In January 2013, Carla Frantz “came in front of the Lapeer County Commission and said she breeds dogs to sell to a wholesaler, and that she sometimes brings animals from the Lapeer shelter to her home. She requested they grant her status as a “consent or hobby kennel,” which would make her not subject to the same regulations as a commercial kennel. Her request was denied.”

    http://thecountypress.mihomepaper.com/news/2013-07-24/Front_Page/County_shelter_director_speaks_to_controversy.html

    http://thecountypress.mihomepaper.com/news/2013-07-28/News/Animal_rescue_advocates_volunteers_vent_concerns_a.html

    http://www.tricitytimes-online.com/Articles-News-i-2013-09-04-216626.112113-Animal-shelter-cleared-in-probes.html

    Reply
  6. Seth

     /  October 29, 2014

    If she sued the pound for the vet bills she paid, perhaps next time they’ll be more careful.

    Reply
  7. Carrie McGowan

     /  October 29, 2014

    Here is the Michigan State stray hold law.

    287.388 Disposition of dogs or cats; time; notice; record; exceptions.
    Sec. 8.

    A dealer, a county, city, village, or township operating a dog pound or animal shelter shall not sell or otherwise dispose of a dog or cat within 4 days after its acquisition. If the dog or cat has a collar, license, or other evidence of ownership, the operator of the pound or shelter shall notify the owner in writing and disposition of the animal shall not be made within 7 days from the date of mailing the notice. Each operator of a pound or shelter shall be required to maintain a record on each identifiable dog or cat acquired, indicating a basic description of the animal, the date it was acquired and under what circumstances. The record shall also indicate the date of notice sent to the owner of an animal and subsequent disposition.

    What is a day? A day is a 24 hour period of time that does NOT include day of intake, nor does it include any weekend day or holiday regardless if the shelter is open or not. Since this dog arrived at the shelter on 10/18, with a collar, she should NOT have even been adoptable until 10/29. TODAY!

    Everything else aside…Lapeer County Animal Control violated Michigan Stray Hold Laws by adopting this dog to anyone before today.

    Reply
  8. angelsflight4ever

     /  October 29, 2014

    This is not new, and in fact “play’s out” over, and over, and over again all over the country at animal controls, animal ‘shelters’, when animal ‘rescues’ get involved in seizures and ‘retail rescue’, etc. and people that have “other agenda’s” have the power and control, and which some, perhaps many people abuse just because they can.

    Hard to believe this happens with only slightly varying details, but it is a fact, and until there is written accountability and transparency for animal controls, animal shelters, humane societies, and animal rescues in the form of questionnaires that legitimate agencies and rescues can easily fill out, but some that aren’t quite as “above-board” cannot and/or will not fill out, and that are posted for public scrutiny, it will continue to happen again and again……..

    We’ve come up with two great questionnaires for animal controls, animal ‘shelters’, humane societies, rescues, etc, and once we can figure out how to publish them publically (we’re dunces on the computer in terms of publishing file links, converting to adobe, pdf, etc, so we’re trying to get someone to help us with it), we will share the link for people to use them as they see fit.

    Reply
  9. Erica

     /  October 30, 2014

    I was informed that it is $100 to adopt a dog from LCAC, so why would a family be charged $180 to get their dog back when it’s adoptable for only $100? Makes no sense.

    Reply
  10. lowell2

     /  October 30, 2014

    Most estray laws require the finder to exert some time to FIND the owner and arrange for the property (livestock) to be returned. While one can take ownership of the estray if no payment is forthcoming, doing it without an ACTIVE attempt to find the owner and arrange payment is illegal. Yet we regularly allow shelters to do this even though most of us have far more emotional investment in our dogs than ranchers do with a cow. Having vilified breeders of dogs and driven out any competition by sellers (commercial or hobby), shelters often are in the business of selling animals — NOT in the public service business of public safety and returning lost animals (property) to their owners.
    If you dropped a wallet and the GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES in the police department just took the money, because you failed to “redeem it” in 4 days even though they knew who it belonged to and had contacted you, would anyone consider that reasonable?
    Perhaps when cops find stolen property they ought to hold it for ransom by the legal owners to raise money to stop theft. How long before the cops start being part of the thieves?

    Reply
  11. Anne

     /  October 31, 2014

    From MI-PACA https://www.facebook.com/MichiganPAC?ref=ts&fref=ts

    LAPEER COUNTY UPDATE: the animal control chief is leaving. The search begins for a compassionate leader to turn the shelter around to save lives, instead of destroy them. Please share to help the county find a humane, creative and compassionate chief. http://lapeercountyweb.org/employment/ACChief.pdf

    Reply
  12. izzyvanover

     /  November 3, 2014

    I hope they can find a compassionate soul to fill this vacancy! Nowadays bad news and selling or killing of pets is excessive! Shelter employees are rude or don’t give a damn about the animals in their care! Shelter reform is urgent and we need to get rid of the ugly lazy dog haters!

    Reply

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