Chedder ("Chat") was reunited with his family yesterday in Houston after a long, drawn-out battle with BREW, the beagle rescue group that Chedder had been given to. The Washington Animal Rescue League had taken in Chedder after Katrina and had been told he was owner surrendered, so they gave the young beagle to BREW Beagle Rescue who in turn adopted him out to someone in Richmond, VA (whose identity is unknown at this time). Almost immediately, Renee - Chedder's owner - identified him from photos from a news program and also from the shelter's website. Once the Executive Director of WARL was made aware of the situation and looked at photos, he did everything he could to get Chedder back from BREW. From the outset (over two months ago) BREW claimed that the dog they had was not Chedder even though the photos proved it was. They refused to allow Renee or anyone to see the dog. When asked to send additional photos, they sent the same photos that were on the website. BREW's lawyer added insult to injury when she stepped in and talked to Renee in a degrading and insulting way. WARL asked their lawyer to intervene. On and on.
Then, a few weeks ago it seemed as if BREW was finally ready to cooperate but it soon became obvious that it was another of of their stall tactics, hoping that Renee would give up and go away. You would think that a dog rescue group would have a little better understanding of the unbreakable bond between people and their pets.
Story of Chedder's Katrina experience: Renee and the rest of the family were sent on to Houston and her father stayed behind with Chedder. When the flooding began and he was forced to evacuate, he and Chedder went to the Convention Center. When the busses finally arrived to take the evacuees to the Astrodome in Houston, Renee's father and Chedder boarded a bus. The bus driver said that Chedder had to be removed from the bus. As if he knew what was going on, Chedder crawled up to the luggage area and burrowed in. The bus driver insisted the dog be removed, so Renee's father tried to get off the bus with Chedder but was not allowed. He had no choice and did as the bus driver ordered, and as the bus pulled away he watched his daughter's beloved puppy chase after it.