NBC Los Angeles described a story run on May 9 this way:
A man was reunited with his lost dog but was questioning why he was put up for adoption during his disappearance.
After reading the story, my take is uh, rather different.
A woman was caught on surveillance video stealing a purebred Havanese puppy who slipped out of his owner’s workplace. She takes him inside a neighboring business and neither are seen again. The owner, Lou Gotowski, immediately began searching for his puppy Jack on numerous fronts. Jack has two microchips.
The owner found Jack listed for adoption on a website belonging to a non-profit called Pet Match Rescue, 40 miles from where Jack was last seen. In checking the website for this group, I noticed they have mainly white & fluffies, many of them pups. Which seems odd. As is this:
Gotowski said the minute he tried to claim the dog, his ad disappeared from the website. He also tried to catch up with the rescue group during an adoption event at a Petco, but Jack wasn’t there.
Sounds legit. Ultimately two women from the group contacted the owner and told him he could buy his dog back for $525. They met at the local police station and instead of arresting the dognappers, police supervised the ransom exchange while an ACO scanned Jack’s chip to verify it was him.
An officer brought the fuzzy 6-month-old pup out, and Jack began squirming in excitement at the sight of Gotowski.
Jack kissed his owner and wriggled in joy, clearly happy to see a familiar face.
Gotowski wondered why the microchip wasn’t scanned earlier – it could have saved weeks of heartache.
Or: I wonder why dognappers/puppy flippers would not comply with the law and scan their victims before resale. Hmmmm.
From California Penal Code section 597.1:
(m) It shall be the duty of all peace officers, humane society
officers, and animal control officers to use all currently acceptable
methods of identification, both electronic and otherwise, to
determine the lawful owner or caretaker of any seized or impounded
animal. It shall also be their duty to make reasonable efforts to
notify the owner or caretaker of the whereabouts of the animal and
any procedures available for the lawful recovery of the animal and,
upon the owner’s and caretaker’s initiation of recovery procedures,
retain custody of the animal for a reasonable period of time to allow
for completion of the recovery process. Efforts to locate or contact
the owner or caretaker and communications with persons claiming to
be the owner or caretaker shall be recorded and maintained and be
made available for public inspection.
Just leaving that there.
The women from the nonprofit told NBC4 there was no dispute, but would not say how Jack came to them.
And to reiterate, this was at the effing police station.
“I got Jack back, and forever am I grateful but my big deal is how many other people have lost their dog in this type of situation? That’s the scary part,” Gotowski said.
(Thanks Clarice and Nathan.)