Wednesday, September 21, 2011

That is my dog

On Monday after the 5th annual Puppy Party I took a vacation day from work so I could recover. I woke up and immediately grabbed my computer. I had to see what pictures had been down loaded, try to get through all the emails I had received and send out a few quick emails. As I was on the computer I thought to myself, we have had a good number of adoptions and I would really like to help a few more dogs before the weather gets bad and I am limited in the number I can take in.

I go to the Lorain County Dog Pound website. Since that is my local shelter I figured I would see what was there that needed help and what I had room for. As I was scrolling down the endless list of dogs this cute little JRT face popped up. OMG THAT IS MY DOG! I know it is.

I couldn't remember her name right away but I knew it was her. I went to my pictures of all my placed rescue dogs and started looking in the 2008 file, nope not there so I looked at the 2009 file. YEP there she was, Minnie a JRT I placed in 2009. I quickly went to my data base to look up the owner. We will call her Sarah. I emailed Sarah right away:

Hi Sarah -

Do you have Minnie? I am only asking b/c there is a dog at my local shelter that LOOKS JUST LIKE HER! Just making sure she is ok.


Now keep in mind my dog pound is closed on Monday's and according to the website she is going up for adoption on Tuesday morning. It also stated that she was picked up as a stray about 20 minutes west of my house. Sarah lives 15 minutes East of my house. She was picked up on the Tuesday before. So the poor baby had been there a week.

I immediately called my dog warden on his cell phone. I told him, you have my dog. I adopted that dog out in 2009. I KNOW that is her. He was on vacation but said that the dog would not go up for adoption on Tuesday or be euthanized. That I just needed to come pick her up on Tuesday morning. Ok, perfect!

I then received an email back from Sarah.

It's not Minnie, but she must be cute!

I didn't believe her. I don't know why I didn't believe her but I didn't. I thought I won't believe her until I have the dog in my possession and I can know it isn't Minnie.

I emailed her back:

OH MY! IT LOOKS JUST LIKE HER! Well I am going to get her tomorrow.

Since I had to work on Tuesday and the pound doesn't open till 10am. I had my mom go get her for me.

On Tuesday morning I received this email from Sarah:

I became curious about the dog you saw at the shelter. I must admit Minnie has actually been living with an older gentleman,a street away from me. He was a customer where I work, which is several hundred feet from both of our homes.
.Until I started school I saw them regularly and she stays with me when he takes trips and I would walk her when the light were on in his house when I walked Rudy in the evenings. The last I saw them was about a month ago, he said he was going to Boston in Sept. to his daughters wedding but didn't need me to keep Minnie because he was taking her with him. Just spoke to him on the phone. He said he didn't want to tell me but Minnie was hit by a car in front of his house 2 wks ago! Didn't want to believe this, looked up pet finders and saw a dog that looks just like Minnie in cage #29. Not sure what to believe. Amy, I know I should have talked to you first but it seemed like the perfect solution, and we were all very happy to be able to have her in our lives. He was lonely and had lots of time to spend with her. I felt so bad leaving her in her cage for hours. I made him promise if he couldn't keep her for any reason I needed to know and that I would contact you.
I hope it is Minnie that you pick up today. Broke my heart when he told me she died. I can only imagine he was too embarrassed to tell me he could no longer take care of her.

This was my response:

WOW Sarah. At the moment I am speechless and really dissapointed. I need some time to think about what has happened. With that said can you please confirm if the area where the dog was found, is the area where Minnie was living?

Now let me add a little more uncertainty to this story. I am at work, so I can't verify for sure if this is Minnie or not. I had a HUGE feeling it was but I couldn't confirm until I got home. AND Sarah has another dog she adopted from me in 2007.

I finished out my day at work and went home. YEP! That is my dog! That is my Minnie.

I emailed Sarah and asked her to call me. We talked on the phone for about 20 minutes. She stated that Minnie went to go live with the old man in the winter of 2010. My question is how long has she NOT been with the old man? Apparently the old man is in Boston for his daughters wedding and Sarah will not have the chance to speak with him again until he gets back. I really want to know how long she has been missing, why the old man said she was hit by a car and how she made it 45 minutes away from where the old man / Sarah lives..

She was clean, well taken care of but how the heck was she picked up as a stray IN ANOTHER COUNTY and almost to the next county over from that?

Sarah said she made the old man promise he would tell her if he could no longer are for Minnie and I stopped her and said "Sarah you promised me and signed a legally binding contract and yet you didn't follow through on your promise or tell me the truth so why would you expect him to?"

When I got home yesterday all I wanted to do was huge poor Minnie and wish she could talk to me. Tell me where she has been and for how long and how did she get there. I wanted to cry because I had failed her.

I took her out of a shelter and adopted her out to someone I thought I could trust and I check in at least once a year to make sure everyone is doing ok and I always remind people if you need anything or you need to return the dog I am here for you / for the dog and will take back the dog if that is really what is in the best interest of everyone.

I don't understand how this could have happened. Then I start playing all the what if's through my head.
What if I wouldn't have checked the website on Monday. Where would she be now?
What if the county over picked her up instead of my county b/c she was right on the boarder?
What if someone found her and kept her?
What if she really was hit by a car?
What if I emailed or called Sarah and said "how are the dogs" she replied back Minnie was hit by a car and is dead and MONTHS later I see a dog that looks just like her in the shelter. But I am full and can't take that dog in but don't even think it is Minnie b/c well I was told she is dead?
What if she was picked up by a dog pound, killed for space and thrown in a dumpster like they do with the bodies?
Did I really save her or just give her the worse 2.5 years of her life?
What is going through her mind right now?
Does she know she is safe now?
Does she trust me?
Will I fail her again?


jpatituce said...

Wow. That is sad, but I am glad you recovered the dog.

Pauley, the Mr. or the Mrs. said...

I can't imagine how you are feeling right now. Thank goodness you DID check the site that day. Hoping Minnie finds her real forever home soon.

Roberta @ Silverwalk said...

I have worked with two adopters to further re-home dogs adopted from me. Both times, they came to me first. However, I am not as diligent in keeping up with my dogs as you so some may have moved on or up without my knowledge. One family from whom I never heard came back to adopt a puppy, bringing the gorgeous (now rather fluffy) Beagle they adopted 5 years ago. So hard once we send them out into the world and alleged forever families.

Shelly Hall said...

Unbelieveable...Amy you provide everything to the families that adopt your dogs. I know that your contract says to return the dog to you if unable to provide proper care for the animal and absolutely cannot re-home the animal for any reason. I cannot believe this young girl would do that. Thank goodness you recognized her and got her back. You did not fail this dog, the lady that adopted her did!

English Rider said...

I'd certainly be on the war-path after a story like this. Find a way to guilt trip all parties into donating serious funds to compensate so that at least that helps your rescue. Was the dog micro-chipped?

Anonymous said...

I adopted two dogs separately from owners who could no longer keep them. I offered to keep in touch by email and either could visit if they wished. Guess what- neither party kept up contact once the dogs were sold to me. Yes, there were rehomed and wanted a fee (usually higher but they settled when in a bind). It takes a responsible person who will wonder, care, contact a person or a rescue about the welfare of a dog. This seems the norm. People are usually trying to sell/rehome and get desparate when deadlines come. For this reason, I was able to get two purebred dogs for under $125 each. Im a lucky to have them. While your rescue cares for the welfare of the dogs adopted, you will find that owners will not live up to their contract if it is not in their best interest. Only a few care enough to follow up on their dog rehoming.

hayley said...

This dog was lucky you found/noticed and followed up on your hunch that this was your rescued dog. You probably saved the dogs life! Maybe it might be a good idea to followup once or twice a year on your adopted/rehomed dogs with the owners and if no response, check with rescues and pounds if your dogs are there (they should be microchipped I assume).

Dog Rescuer said...

hayle - I follow up TWICE a year, EVERY year and have a data base to show the last time I spoke to / heard from adopter. Remember I did follow up with the owner and SHE LIED!

And keep in mind that micro chips are usually registered to the owner not the rescue so the owner would have been contacted and I would have never been the wiser.

Anonymous said...

That is shocking to say the least. I'm glad that Minnie is OK. Is there any legal recourse that you can take? It would seem to me that you'd want to make an example of this person so that others think twice. I know it sounds harsh and you've been up to your ears in legal BS this year, but this woman really did something awful to the rescue and, more importantly, Minnie. At minimum, I'm with English Rider. These two irresponsible meanies should pony up and good!