Sunday, March 9, 2014

Response To L.A. Times Article

I was surfing the net when I came across an article that definitely brought up a lot of emotions. I'd like to share the article with you along with my thoughts.

The Stir and the L.A. Times

I came across an article on The Stir about a mother and her 4-year-old son who lost their dog. You can read the article here. You can read the original L.A. Times article here. Also, there's another piece by Sandy Banks, author of the L.A. Times article that explores the topic more, which you can read by clicking here.

To summarize both, a woman lost her 8-month-old puppy named Rafiki and after checking her local animal shelter, posting on Craigslist, and posting on a Facebook group for lost dogs, she could not locate poor Raffiki.

What she didn't know was Raffiki was taken to a different animal shelter 10 miles away on the other side of town, and then was taken by Karma Rescue. Karma then sold the dog to another family.

The Drama

Things get complicated when the owner discovers Rafiki is at Karma. She calls to try and get her dog back, but no one answers. She leaves a voicemail, but no one heard it until after the dog was adopted by another family. Raffiki's owner fills out an application online and tries to get her dog back, but not only has the dog already been adopted, but she doesn't even qualify for her own dog.

Raffiki's new owners refuse to give the dog back, and while Karma still hasn't taken responsibility for what has happened, they at least seem to be trying to make sure it doesn't happen again.

One thing that still bothers me after reading the first article, though, is a comment from Karma's lawyer.
"Had she been a little more diligent, we would have spoken with her."
Ouch! That is a slap in the face if I ever read one.

I'll admit, there are three sides to every story and I would like to hear more from Karma's side and the new owners. I'm curious to see why they don't want to give the dog back.

Some Questions I Have

1. Why do we judge owners so harshly when a dog escapes? It's not always the owners' fault, and it isn't always completely preventable, either. Especially if the dog has never tried anything like that before. We should just be glad the owners care enough to go looking for the dog.

2. Is an owner negligent for not micro chipping their dog?

3. Should microchipping be enforced?

What do you think?


  1. This post brings up a lot of great points. What it brings to mind for me is a friend with a senior dog that began to wander in old age. The dog was microchipped but the microchip was not detected by the vet someone took the dog to. After 48 hours of searching, my friend finally located her dog (at a shelter more than 40 miles away) just as the shelter was about to release her microchipped dog for adoption! To me the moral is, mistakes happen (my friend learned her aging dog could no longer be allowed to have access to the dog door and yard alone) and the shelter apologized for not rechecking for a microchip.

    1. Wow! That is a really far distance away. I'm so glad your friend was able to get her dog back.

      I just keep comparing Raffiki to Princess. They're separated by two months in age. Princess got microchipped just the other day, and she won't be spayed until the end of the month. If she had gotten lost just a week ago, we might be in a similar situation. Except out here it's more likely she would be eaten by coyotes.

      I just hope the new owners do the right thing.

  2. This is such a sad story, but I appreciate you sharing it. My heart would be broken were I in this woman's position and I believe that she should be judged by the effort she took to get her dog back - if she wasn't fit to be a dog owner, would she have gone through all that effort?

    1. I agree. I think the new owners should give her back and find another dog to make part of their family. There are so many dogs out there that need homes.

      I had emailed Sandy Banks, author of the article, and she said, "I would love to know too (why they won't give the dog back), but I haven't been able to find out anything about the new family. I suspect they know they got a great deal -- a well trained and well cared for purebred puppy for $300. Or maybe they've been convinced that the original owner is a horrible villain. I do agree with the many people who say the fact that they won't give the dog back shows they are not suited to be good dog owners; they are discounting the dog's feelings (she has lost her family and best friend) for their own selfish whims."