9.21.2007

Katrina dog goes home after 2 + years


This is Rascal who was rescued from his Bywater home in September 2005 and taken to Lamar Dixon. From there he was sent to another emergency shelter in Monroe, LA run by UAN (United Animal Nations). From Monroe, Rascal and 80 or so other dogs were flown to eastern Pennsylvania on a flight chartered by the ABKA (American Boarding & Kennel Association, a branch of the AKC). This airlift was orchestrated by Bob Paine, the owner of Molly's Country Kennels, a boarding kennel and doggie day care center in Lansdale, PA. Bob just happened to be the president of the ABKA at the time.

When the flight landed in PA, the dogs went to Molly's, 44 miles away. Within a few days, most of the dogs were farmed out to 19 or so other boarding kennels/doggie day care centers in the suburban Philadelphia area as well as Maryland and Virginia.

Every piece of information that came with or on the dogs was entered into Petfinder records created by UAN staff and volunteers. Thankfully for those pets and their owners, these Petfinder records were created BEFORE the dogs left Monroe.

Most* all of the animals that were flown to PA by the ABKA/Molly's are OWNED by families in New Orleans. The Petfinder records include rabies tag numbers, rescue addresses, and owner's names if known.

For example, Rocket (who was finally released and sent home from Doylestown by Lynne Welsh last November) had his owner's name and address right there on his Petfinder record. So did Ragnar. Yet it took lawsuits filed on behalf of the owners of both of those dogs to get them returned.

This particular kennel got four Katrina dogs. In a local newspaper article in the fall of 2005, the owner of the kennel states:
"Since their rescue, each dog has been given a clean bill of health, vaccinated and microchipped for identification. The four dogs have passed initial evaluations with flying colors."

Yet, despite this claim, one of the four dogs died from heart worm treatment; another one had heart worms so severe that the vet recommended he be euthanized, and Rascal tested weak heart worm positive and treated. The dog that was almost euthanized wasn't known to have heart worms for almost a year - until he was finally adopted in June 2006 and tested when his new owner took him to the vet.

When I asked the owner of the kennel if Rascal has been on monthly heart worm preventative since he completed his treatment, she said "no, we don't have a problem with heart worm around here."

Really?

By some oversight, Rascal's 2005 Rabies tag and ID tag did not make it into his Petfinder record. BUT... the rabies tag number was on his paperwork (paperwork which I saw for the first time a few months ago, after lawsuit #3 was filed over another Molly's dog). All of the dogs were accompanied by paperwork or copies of their paperwork when transferred from Molly's to the other kennels. So even though no one else knew that Rascal had a current rabies tag - both of the PA kennels knew.

It took two phone calls, a post on a neighborhood forum and a few emails with a friend of Rascal's owner to make contact. His owner doesn't own a computer or have an email account so it was a few more weeks before I was able to send him photos to confirm it was his dog for sure.

I won't go into the rest of the negotiating with the kennel story here (it's been shared with friends and other Katrina reunion volunteers and those who need to know) but the bottom line is that Rascal was flown home on Friday.

And this dog who spent the past two years living in a kennel, mostly isolated and described as un-adoptable, is acting like "his old sweet friendly self" according to his very happy owner.

Oh, one more thing. The kennel never bothered to have him neutered in the two years they had him there.

7 comments:

PatK said...

Rascal, you are a beautiful boy - so happy you are home with Daddy! Anita, thanks for your hard work in helping make all these wrongs "right" again. The audacity of the shelters/kennels that took in these dogs, and almost let them die from not testing/treating for HW is unexcusable AND then not neutering. Shame on them for pointing their fingers at the victims of Katrina about the same issues. They are a kennel, how dare they neglect a pet such as this AND for so long. "Ignorant" comes to mind! Oh that's right..they are a member of ABKA, of which Molly's Kennels Owner is President...that explains it.

No Animal Left Behind said...

Attention Littleone510@excite.com:

I read the comments you submitted regarding this blog post and I tried to email you but the email was returned.

Before I post your comments and my reply to them, would you please email me at noanimalleftbehind at gmail dot com so I can ask you to clarify some things.

If anything I posted is factually wrong, I'm happy to make the corrections, but I can't do so based on an anonymous comment from an unknown person who works at the kennel.

Thanks.

Disgusted said...

Interesting. Another dog comes to mind that was taken to Pennsylvania by an animal rights group and not returned to his owner when requested, and only after some nasty publicity and a lawsuit. While from one side of their mouth the people from this group were denigrating Gulf pet owners because so many of the dogs came out of the area heartworm positive, they never bothered to test this dog for it or put him on preventative the whole year he was in Pennsylvania, despite the fact that he had been stuck in those murky waters in New Orleans for possibly two weeks, and despite the fact that heartworm IS in Pennsylvania!

Contrary to the insinuations of neglect made against the owner, the owner, who was prevented from returning to the city, had had his dog on monthly preventative prior to Katrina while he was in Louisiana, which is more than could be said about the idiots who took him out of Louisiana.

http://www.knowheartworms.org/incidencemap.asp


These particular people weren't interested in the facts, just in puffing themselves up, and condemning an entire group of people based on prejudice, conjecture, and grotesque level of self-righteousness.

May animals rescued from disaster areas never again fall into the hands of ignorant, selfish and cruel people.

It defies understanding why Molly's Country Kennel's would rather have kept that dog cooped up alone in a kennel rather than try to find his owner. Shame on them.

Thank you Anita for sticking with these Molly's cases and getting these dogs back to their owners.

Patty said...

Anita, Molly's only had four Katrina dogs? According to two owners I was in touch with, I know of two dogs that supposedly were returned to their owners. Now you make me want to go back and make sure they were. These were not Stealth cases. Or maybe they were but were not assigned to me. And not that I am sticking up for Molly's. They really suck, in my opinion.

No Animal Left Behind said...

Hi Patty,

Molly's flew 82 dogs to PA from Monroe. Molly’s then sent all but 4 of these dogs off to 19 or so other boarding kennels/ doggie daycare centers in PA, MD and VA.

I chose to not use the name of the specific kennel in my blog post because even though they too made a lot of mistakes, and they obviously did not try to find Rascal's owner in the two years they had him, in spite of their contradictory claims that a)we looked very hard for the owners and b)it was not our job to look for the owners (!@##!?@) they did the right thing in the end and sent him home.

Even if Molly's did reunite two dogs, two out of 82 is despicable in light of how most all of the Molly’s / UAN Petfinder records had owner identification.

Sorry for any confusion. Please email me at noanimalleftbehind at gmail dot com to compare owner notes…I’m currently in contact with many of them.

Thanks!!

Anita

dee263 said...

The American Boarding and Kennel Association is not "a branch of the AKC." I think you need to check your facts on that. Also, regardless of your (or my) views on spay/neuter, the kennel had no right to neuter this dog if the intention of their foster of nim was to eventually reunite him with his owner.

sb said...

dee263 - Molly's allowing this animal to languish in limbo for two years makes it clear they were in no way interested in reuniting him with his owner.

Further, under the Agreement to Take Animals Memorandum of Understanding they entered into with the State of Louisiana when they took animals out of the state, all Satellite Shelters were under a legal obligation to spay/neuter any of the animals that they took prior to adopting them out.

Oh wait--maybe they were putting off neutering him a couple of years until they found just the perfect home for him. Uh-huh. Why do it now when you can wait until he's older.