A dog named Jake got lost on July 13 in Philadelphia. His owners, Vickie and Mark Remolde, began looking for him immediately. Meanwhile, a good Samaritan had found Jake running loose and taken him to the Animal Care and Control Team (ACCT) so that his owners could find him. It didn’t work out so well:
[Chris Ferraro] says he took the dog to ACCT and filed a report with the shelter and provided his contact information. That’s when he says another man in the lobby approached workers about taking care of the dog until the owners came forward.
ACCT staff gave Jake to Man in Lobby. When the Remoldes came to the pound looking for their lost pet, they didn’t find him. Because staff had given him to Man in Lobby. Who then disappeared.
“It was a complete and total joke,” Ferraro said. “As a dog owner myself, it gives me great concern that God forbid if I ever lost my dog, it’d just be given to some random person off the street.”
Vickie Remolde says she asked ACCT to send someone to the address provided by Man in Lobby but when they did, it was Some Other Guy who lived there so shrug.
ACCT issued this statement regarding Jake:
“The dog that we believe to be Jake was never relinquished into ACCT Philly’s care. An individual who found a dog that matched Jake’s description brought the dog to ACCT Philly on July 13th, but before filing a lost report, passed the dog to another person, and left. We do not know why the original finder chose to do this, and we do not condone this kind of interaction between members of the public, but do not have the authority to restrict it. The second individual, who now has the dog that matches Jake’s description, provided identification and completed a found animal report, which is in line with ACCT Philly policy and procedure.
When an owner that matched the description and circumstances of the dog on this report came forward, ACCT Philly reached out to the individual who filed the lost report in order to reunite the family. Attempts at contact over the phone and in person have proven unsuccessful, but we are continuing to do everything in our power to reunite Jake and his family.
48 hour stray holds begin when a dog is taken into our facility. We do not have ownership of animals that have not been formally relinquished into our care and are unable to seize or force them to be turned over.”
Basically: We know nothing of this, how you say, doog and even if we did, nothing is our fault and that good Samaritan sucks so hard, amirite?
That explanation went over like a rock tied to a bigger rock and the owners began investigating the circumstances of Jake’s disappearance themselves. They connected with Mr. Ferraro and got some additional details:
Ferraro said he was giving his information to a woman at the [ACCT] counter when another man walked in and asked if Jake was his dog.
When Ferraro said no, the other man asked if he could have Jake.
“No,” Ferraro replied. “He’s someone else’s dog.”
At this point, Ferraro said an ACCT kennel attendant came over and told the second man that if he wanted to have the dog, he could. Ferraro said he protested.
The attendant said the second man could have Jake as long as the owner had a chance to reclaim him.
The second man’s information was taken by ACCT and he was allowed to leave with Jake.
None of this was related to Mark less than 48 hours later, when he arrived at ACCT. [emphasis added]
The Remoldes did not give up. They returned again and again to ACCT, demanding accountability and the return of their pet. When it was determined that Man in Lobby had given a phony address, they worried that Jake had been taken for nefarious purposes. They asked ACCT to show them video footage of Man in Lobby, hoping for an additional clue. ACCT refused. The owners got a lawyer.
Suddenly, magically even, Man in Lobby produced Jake and the Remoldes got him back. He’d lost a considerable amount of weight, had a red rash on his neck and his tail was burned “black, like charcoal.” No longer his playful self, Jake is now reportedly fearful. The owners spent $175 at the vet getting their pet fixed up.
ACCT waived its usual fees for Jake, the dog they tried to claim they didn’t really know, because they’re cool like that. But that public, soooo irresponsible:
[ACCT executive director Vincent] Medley said that if Ferraro was uncomfortable with the proceedings, which Ferraro protested, he should have asked for a supervisor.
I assume the good Sam was drunk at the time and wearing a slutty short skirt. You stay classy, ACCT.
Kinda makes you wonder why Man in Lobby types would feel comfortable hanging out at ACCT, scoping out dogs and why ACCT would pass them dogs so casually, then lie about it and hide evidence.
No mention of any criminal charges for anyone.
I also wonder how many other lost pets ACCT gave to Man in Lobby types. Pets whose owners couldn’t afford a lawyer or didn’t realize they needed one. Pets whose tails may have been burned and then whatever else happens when there is no owner going on TV and raising holy hell, fighting for the return of their pet.
No mention of any criminal charges for anyone?