Carter County Animal Shelter complaint and concern

Published 9:31 am Wednesday, May 15, 2019

To the Editor:
In February of this year one of my relatives stopped at Walmart in Elizabethton to run in to purchase a phone card. He left his two small dogs in the car since he would only be a few minutes and the weather conditions were not a concern. One of the dogs got out of the car while he was in the store. When he returned to the car and saw his dog was missing he went back in to inquire if anyone had seen him. He was told that animal control was called and they took him to the shelter. He drove over to the shelter and was informed that they had not brought him over there. After waiting an hour for them to show up he was told that the dog ran and animal control could not catch him. He continued to search for his dog that day and ever since. He had this dog since it was born and also has the grandmother. He was never notified by the shelter that they had received a dog that may match his.
I live out of state and was not aware of this until April. I immediately looked on the shelter’s website and found a picture of his dog which said he had been adopted. I notified the shelter immediately and sent a picture. The shelter insisted it was a younger dog although I spoke with them several times and asked that the adoptee be contacted. I visited my family in April and went by the shelter to give them another picture and inquire about getting the dog returned. While I was there, only one person talked with me and agreed that it certainly looked like the same dog. I showed her another picture of the dog and she asked if I could email it to her. I emailed the picture and received a call from her shortly stating that the feet were different. I again reviewed the shelter photo and the photo that I had emailed them. No difference in the feet. I contacted the shelter again and requested they contact the person who adopted him and ask that he return the dog. I agreed that I would pay any fees he had paid the shelter and would pay for him to adopt another dog. I again explained how devoted the dog and my family member are to either other and how heartbroken my family member is. I asked them to explain the situation to the adoptee. I received a response that they had contacted the person and that he stated that the dog was happy and they had bonded and that he would not return the dog. I feel that someone who is an animal lover would be more than eager to return an animal under these circumstances. Having a dog two months does not compare to having it from the time it was a baby.
The shelter said they regretted it for my relative but that there was nothing they could do.
I have since learned that this isn’t the first time this has happened with this shelter and that a lawsuit was filed against the shelter.
I cannot understand why this would be allowed to continue to happen and why the shelter doesn’t notify an owner when they receive an animal that may belong to them before they put it up for adoption. This should be first priority when a new animal is received.
My family and I greatly appreciate any help in resolving this and having the dog returned.

Emma Wilson

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox