When Alysha VanDyke’s 13 year old min pin slipped his collar and got lost last month, she began looking for him but there were no sightings of the dog, named Manson, for weeks. She thought that because of his advanced age and poor health, Manson may have gone off to die. But then a friend saw a posting on Facebook of a dog being offered for adoption by the Animal Shelter of Schoharie Valley. The dog looked like Manson so the friend alerted his family:
“We were like, ‘Oh my God here he is!’ And we thought that this was the greatest ending and everyone would be happy. Only to find out that was not so,” VanDyke said.
VanDyke says the Animal Shelter of Schoharie Valley refused to give her dog back when she called and then showed up at the shelter the very next day.
“It felt like I’d been kicked in the stomach. It’s like he’s here but I can’t see him? And now I can’t have him?” VanDyke said.
Ms. VanDyke says she showed photos of Manson to the shelter as proof of ownership. But shelter staff told her she wouldn’t be getting her dog back because he wasn’t neutered and therefore she’s obviously a crummy owner. Then they called the cops and had her escorted out of the place. The local CBS affiliate has repeatedly contacted the shelter and its attorney but their only response has been: Hide.
The shelter did post on Facebook about the situation with Manson. They basically say it’s the stupid owner’s fault she didn’t get her dog back because:
- Didn’t reclaim him fast enough.
- Not licensed.
- The proof of ownership she provided was unacceptable.
Also, if the owner does somehow provide the sort of proof of ownership they fancy (while she’s being taken away by police, I guess), she’ll have to pay the extensive vet bills they’ve run up on the dog in addition to the other fees they charge. Meanwhile, a feeble old dog is sitting in a shelter while his family is waiting for him at home.
So yeah the mandatory holding period expired. But the shelter knows who the owners are NOW, knows they want their pet back, and knows how hard it is for old dogs removed from their home environment. Why would you call the cops on someone trying to reclaim their pet – because they didn’t neuter the dog? Why not use the opportunity to educate the owners, get the dog back home and look like heroes to the public? Keeping the dog under these circumstances is just ugly. I guess HIDE sounds like a reasonable plan for the shelter at this juncture.
(Thanks Clarice and Jan for the links.)