Oklahoma Beagle Rescue (OKBR) is touched by the public outcry of this family trying to reclaim a dog they had lost, but returning this dog to this family, at this time, would not place the dog in a safe environment and it would put his health and well-being in jeopardy. The traumatized situation of the boy was never mentioned during the adoption process, OKBR had no knowledge of it and it played no part of the decision made by OKBR. It only came to surface to gather the sympathy of the public.
The care of a family pet is not the responsibility of a 13 year old child; it is ultimately the responsibility of his parents. Although the care and emotion put forth by the boy is important to the dog, the dog is just not safe when the parents decide to chain him up in the back yard with out proper shelter or vetting. The family openly admitted to losing another dog prior to this because it was strangled on the chain and still they continue to chain their animals, knowing the danger.
Facts of the situation:
The dog was picked up by animal control on 10-23-06.
The dog was kept for 8 days in the shelter; 5 more than required by law.
The family only discovered OKBR by contacting the Chickasha shelter on 11-20-06, almost a month after animal control brought this dog into their program as a stray. Eight days is more than adequate time for a family to contact the shelter to reclaim this dog before it was rescued by OKBR from certain death.
The application was received and processed just as any other application would be handled. The references were check and a home visit was scheduled. The OKBR volunteer that performed the home visit, tried to counsel and assist the family in qualifying, by offering help to repair the fence and provide the dogs with indoor crates, but found them unwilling to work with rescue in adjusting the living arrangements of the animal for its own safety and wellbeing. If the family had been willing to consider the safety and wellbeing of this dog and others currently in their possession, the adoption fee would have been waived and only reimbursement of vet expenses expected. The volunteer ultimately declined adoption approval of this home visit on several points, most of which are required by OKBR before adopting any dog.
1. The dogs were kept outside only and the second dog was chained in the yard. OKBR’s contract prohibits staking or chaining of a dog, and requires dogs to be kept indoors when the family is not at home so they are never left unsupervised in an unsecured area. The fence was never even attempted to be fixed as you could see on the news video.
2. The dogs were not permitted inside the home nor were they provided with a dog house or any other type of adequate shelter.
3. Both dogs were over 6 months old and had not been altered and had no medical explanation of why spaying/neutering would be a danger to the animals in question. OKBR will not adopt any animal to a family that has other unaltered animals due to the high volume of unwanted animals killed every year in the city/county shelters.
4. The dogs were not kept on monthly heart worm preventative and the family told OKBR that they would not maintain the dog on a preventative. It is recommended by local veterinarians that all dogs in the Oklahoma area be kept on heart worm preventative year-round to prevent this highly contagious and deadly parasite.
OKBR tried as hard as possible to work with this family in order to return the dog to their home.
Counseling, educating and assistance to help by OKBR were all denied by the family. OKBR strives to see all their dogs to have a good, safe loving home. It is a responsibility and an obligation we make to each and every animal we rescue. As much as we tried to return the dog to the family, OKBR feels the dog would not be in a safe situation nor is the family willing to accommodate the changes for the safety and health of their dogs. Spending life in the yard on a chain, without proper shelter or vetting is not a safe environment for any family pet. We apologize to the young man missing this dog, but we cannot subject such a wonderful animal to that type of neglect and we are sorry his family does not understand nor wants to learn an animals needs.
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