New Orleans' Earle Bryant III is suing a Montgomery County kennel for allowing a local resident to adopt a German shepherd that Bryant left behind when he evacuated his home to escape from Hurricane Katrina last summer.
Ragnar, the dog, ended up at Molly's Country Kennels in Worcester in September after the shelter took on some animals that were being housed at a temporary rescue area in Louisiana.
The suit, filed this month in Montgomery County Court, claims Molly's kennel did not give Bryant enough time to claim the animal before allowing someone to adopt it. He has been trying to get the 2-year-old dog back since January.
“The fact is, I'm very, very close to my animals, and I see them as part of the family,” Bryant said last week. “I won't give up. I'm disgusted. This really makes me upset. I can't even express how angry this has made me.”
His is the latest case of a pet owner from the Gulf Coast trying to reclaim a dog that made its way to the Philadelphia suburbs following Hurricane Katrina.
Lynne and Joseph Welsh of Doylestown adopted a dog named Rocket whose owner has come forward and asked for her pet's return. The Welshes have said, through their attorney, that they don't want to return the dog to its owner unless she comes to Pennsylvania.
A happier outcome has been reached by a New Orleans family and the Reith family of Doylestown Township. The Reiths have plans to return Mojo, a 9-year-old blond terrier-chow mix, to the McNeils of New Orleans later this week.
Bryant, who is now home in New Orleans, said the dog initially belonged to his mother, but he was taking care of it. When the hurricane hit in late August, Bryant packed up his belongings and loaded them and his own three dogs into his 1995 Chevrolet Blazer.
Bryant said there was simply no room for Ragnar, especially since one of the other dogs was very aggressive. So, he gave Ragnar plenty of food and water, attached tags bearing the owner's name and telephone number and left for Oklahoma.
“That I was unable to take him was a painful choice,” said Bryant, who got Ragnar at a Mississippi rescue agency. “He's not an aggressive dog. He's a very submissive, altered male. He's a pure-bred German shepherd who was very well taken care of.”
Bryant contacted Louisiana's Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Humane Society of the United States to request that the dog be rescued and provided them with his cell phone number.
Once he returned to Louisiana in October, he tried to track the dog down with no luck. In December, Bryant contacted an animal rescue organization that helped him post a “lost” notice on www.petfinder.com.
On Dec., 31, an organization representative realized that Molly's Country Kennels had posted a notice about the dog on the same site in September but deactivated the posting in early October, the suit claims.
That notice indicated that all Katrina adoptions from Molly's would be final on Jan. 1, the suit said.
On Jan. 1, Bryant sent an e-mail to Molly's representatives to claim the dog and learned it had already been adopted. Molly's has refused to provide Bryant with the name, address and phone number of the person who adopted the dog.
“This is unacceptable if you ask me,” Bryant said of the pre-Jan. 1 adoption.
Colorado Springs attorney Mark Francis represented Molly's in discussions with Bryant's lawyer earlier this spring. Reached Friday, Francis said he has since advised Molly's officials to obtain local counsel.
A phone call to the kennel business for comment was not immediately returned.Oh, look - here is a video of all the dogs arriving at Molly's Country Kennels!
Go to page 25 and then click on the video dated 10/18: Finding Homes for Stranded Pets
And here are dogs that were brought back to Last Chance Ranch in PA!
Story is also on MSNBC