Have you heard this story? It infuriates me. What doesn't make any sense is that the original owners were at the shelter every day looking for Bella and she was there the whole time. If the Humane Society has explained how that can happen, it hasn't been reported. The cynical side of me thinks a shelter volunteer was holding Bella for a friend, keeping her out of sight, out of the kennels.
S.J. WOMAN LEARNS PAINFUL LESSON ON ANIMAL SHELTERS' RULES By Connie Skipitares
Mercury News
This lost-dog tale almost had a happy ending.
Niki Karanastasis couldn't believe her luck at finding her 2-year-old golden retriever, Bella, at the Humane Society six days after the dog escaped her San Jose yard. But the reunion turned to heartbreak when she learned her beloved pet had been adopted by a new owner just hours before.
Officials at the Humane Society Silicon Valley offered a brief apology, but said five days is the limit they shelter stray dogs picked up without ID tags before putting them up for adoption.

``I couldn't believe it. How could this happen?'' Karanastasis, a 44- year-old hairdresser, asked as she broke into tears. ``I was looking at her, playing with her, but I couldn't have her. How could they tell me, `You don't own this dog?' ''
Humane Society officials say they understand Karanastasis' anguish, but their hands are tied.
``This is a difficult situation and I do feel bad for the owner,'' said Christine Benninger, president of the Humane Society. ``But we're following state law here. After five days, the Humane Society becomes owner.''
full story:
http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/local/7745335.htm

Cate
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Have you heard this story? It infuriates me.

the thought of that happening to either of my dogs makes me feel sick.
What doesn't make any sense is that the original owners were at the shelter every day looking for Bella and she was there the whole time.

the story doesn't say she looked every day, but it does say she looked multiple times. i would be beyond furious if i'd checked the shelter multiple times and my dog was there the whole time, even if it weren't adopted by someone else. where was the dog? and, presumably the shelter knew what sort of dog the owner was searching for. surely they should have shown her every GR currently there?
i can understand why the shelter can't take a dog away from it's new adopters just because the former owner waltzes back into the picture, but why can't there be a fail-safe for when the shelter messes up? i realize the new adopters' ownership rights need to be protected, but this seems hideously unfair to me.
all i can say is, microchip your pets!!!

shelly (perfectly foul wench) and elliott and harriet http://home.bluemarble.net/~scouvrette
all i can say is, microchip your pets!!! shelly (perfectly foul wench) and elliott and harriet http://home.bluemarble.net/~scouvrette

Thanks for the reminder Shelly. Reznor's next conformation show has a microchip clinic as well as an eye clinic. I plan on doing both.
Gwen
Thanks for the reminder Shelly. Reznor's next conformation show has a microchip clinic as well as an eye clinic. I plan on doing both.

good! considering the good arguments against keeping collars on unattended dogs, it makes good sense to chip (and/or tattoo).
now *i* need to remember to order new tags from the AKC for my dogs. elliott's still got his original rubbery yellow tag, but the number is bleeding pretty badly. harriet lost hers, and now has her number written in Sharpie on her collar.

shelly (perfectly foul wench) and elliott and harriet http://home.bluemarble.net/~scouvrette
i can understand why the shelter can't take a dog away from it's new adopters just because the former owner ... messes up? i realize the new adopters' ownership rights need to be protected, but this seems hideously unfair to me.[/nq]But the shelter wouldn't be taking the dog away from the adopters because the adopters didn't take possession of her yet. They may have paid the fee and been told to wait until the dog is vetted before picking her up but if they had possession of her then the former owner wouldn't have been playing with her at the shelter. It was a simple matter of phoning the adopter and telling them what happened then offering their money back.

Sounds like this may be more a case of the shelter not wanting to give a refund or have a refund showing on their books *or* someone at the shelter really wanted that dog so he/she gets preference over the former owner. No shelter, anywhere, can tell me their hands are tied if they are still in physical possession of the dog. That's a crock.
all i can say is, microchip your pets!!!

That helps but certainly isn't fullproof. Alot of shelters have scanners but don't use them.

Tara
That helps but certainly isn't fullproof. Alot of shelters have scanners but don't use them. Tara

And alot of microchips move. And if one is as close to Mexico as I am then I dog could go south of the border and never be found again. And stranger things have occurred.
I don't see microchipping as full proof or even that grand. Too many podunk towns with shelters in Texas that wouldn't even have a clue how to locate a microchip, let alone what to do with the number if the did. And I fairly serious about the above.
Unless your dog is lost in Austin, Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth, San Antonio and possibly Corpus Christy I wouldn't expect the itty bitty towns to have a clue that microchips even exist. Sad but true.
Gwen
good! considering the good arguments against keeping collars on unattended dogs,

Perhaps this is a stupid question, but why are you not suppose to keep a collar on unattended dogs?
David
They may have paid the fee and been told to wait until the dog is vetted before picking her up but if they had possession of her then the former owner wouldn't have been playing with her at the shelter.

true. i hadn't thought about that, but you're right.
Sounds like this may be more a case of the shelter not wanting to give a refund or have a refund showing on their books

which would be a ludicrous excuse IMO.
*or* someone at the shelter really wanted that dog so he/she gets preference over the former owner.

which would be very unethical IMO, but it sounds like the most logical explanation to me. it just seems to me that we're missing some important pieces of the puzzle. even in a large shelter, i have trouble buying that an owner would miss seeing their dog on multiple occasions. if the owner is telling the truth, then the dog had to have been kept away from public view.
No shelter, anywhere, can tell me their hands are tied if they are still in physical possession of the dog. That's a crock.

it sure sounds like one to me.
That helps but certainly isn't fullproof. Alot of shelters have scanners but don't use them.

i realize that, but in a case like this, they'd have a hell of a time rationalizing why a chipped pet was placed with a new owner instead of being returned to it's original owner.

shelly (perfectly foul wench) and elliott and harriet http://home.bluemarble.net/~scouvrette
i would be beyond furious if i'd
checked the shelter multiple times and my dog was there the whole time, even if it weren't adopted by someone ... knew what sort of dog the owner was searching for. surely they should have shown her every GR currently there?

I agree. This part of the story sounds very fishy. Even if the dog was temporarily removed from the facility at an off-site vet visit, say IMO the shelter had an obligation to tell the owner 'Oh, and we also have this other GR that might be yours. Come back at 3pm when she'll be back.'
i can understand why the shelter can't take a dog away from it's new adopters just because the former owner waltzes back into the picture, but why can't there be a fail-safe for when the shelter messes up?

i realize the new adopters' ownership
rights need to be protected, but this seems hideously unfair to me.

It seems to me that the prospective adopter's rights should be negated if the shelter is acting against its published policies or against municipal code to have strays on display. I'd hope so, anyway.

I'd consider suing in this case. I hope the original owner does, if nothing else but to get some answers from the shelter about where her dog was during the times she visited but didn't see her.
Cate
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