Puppy Center of Surrender Dispute
A Seven Lakes woman is suing the Moore Humane Society after she says the no-kill shelter refused to return her dog after she left it there to get a rabies vaccination.
Jan Anderson Dubey, 70, said the Humane Society refused to give back the dog, telling her she was too old to care for it.
Corinne “Corky” Frye, of the Humane Society, said Dubey came to the shelter claiming she couldn’t care for the 6-month-old miniature American Eskimo dog, and wanted to get rid of the animal.
“The dog was legally surrendered to the Humane Society and we’re not going to give it back to her,” Frye said.
Dubey’s signature appears on a Moore Humane Society animal surrender form dated May 12.
Dubey said she filled in her address on the form and partially signed it. She said the remainder of the form, which also includes a photocopy of her driver’s license, was filled out by Humane Society staff. The document appears to have been filled out by more than one person.
The one-page form provided to The Pilot by Dubey indicates the reason for surrender as “To (sic) old to take care of puppy.”
Dubey said she was told by shelter staff that the form was a “sign-in” sheet and didn’t read the form before she started to sign it.
When asked about what happened on May 12, Frye said that Dubey came to the Humane Society and told the staff that she was too old to care for the dog and didn’t want it anymore.
“We don’t take in an animal to give it a rabies shot,” Frye said. “If somebody comes in and asks for a rabies shot we send them to another location, like a veterinarian or to (Moore County) Animal Control.”
When asked if she thought the staff of the Humane Society could have misunderstood her intent, Dubey responded flatly, “That would be quite a misunderstanding.”
Dubey said she first became worried about the rabies vaccine for her new puppy, 6-month-old Flurry, when she and the dog were in Myrtle Beach on May 10 and 11.
She returned home the night of the 11th and the next day called PetSmart to see about bringing the dog in to have its toenails clipped and to get a rabies shot.
In a first interview, Dubey said she had called PetSmart and was told to bring the dog in. She said she did so and then was told she couldn’t bring the animal inside.
In a subsequent interview, she said she was told by phone that she couldn’t bring the dog in. She said at that point she drove to Southern Pines and stopped at two veterinarian offices that were closed, and then stopped at PetSmart where she was told “by someone at the door” that she could not bring the dog inside.
She said she never spoke to anyone at the Banfield animal hospital located inside PetSmart.
When contacted earlier this week, a woman who answered the phone at Banfield said no animals are refused treatment and if an owner brings in a dog that is not current on its rabies vaccine, the shot would be administered, but the owner is responsible if the dog bites anyone while there.
When she couldn’t get in at PetSmart, Dubey said she visited several other veterinarians, whose offices all were also closed, before going to the Humane Society.
Dubey said she was assured by staff that she could come get her dog in a couple of days, and when she returned on Monday, May 14, she was unable to get her dog back and was told to fill out an adoption form.
She called the Humane Society the next day and said she was told that the Humane Society had decided not to return the dog to her.
“I said, ‘Today or ever?’, and she (Humane Society’s Heather Collins) said, ‘Ever. We decided you’re too old,’” Dubey said.
The situation has escalated since.
Both sides have accused the other of assault, but no police reports have been filed.
Dubey, who engaged two lawyers before ultimately deciding to represent herself, filed a report of a stolen dog with the Carthage Police Department on June 11. On June 14, representatives from the department confirmed the report, but said the investigation was ongoing.
Anna Meek, the breeder who sold Dubey the puppy for $1,000, even attempted to come up to claim or adopt the dog. She was unsuccessful.
“They wouldn’t release the puppy to me because they said it was involved in litigation,” said Meek, who said she has been breeding dogs for 10 years.
Said Frye: “At the Humane Society there is no way we’re giving the dog back to the breeder.”
Complicating matters, Meek said Dubey signed a contract with her kennel AMAR Kennel, that reads, “It is understood that if, for any reason, you find it impossible to provide for the puppy, it must be returned to AMAR Kennels. No refunds available.”
Frye has said that the Humane Society has done nothing wrong and intends to adopt out the dog locally.
Contact Tom Embrey at (910) 693-2484 or email@example.com.
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