Maybe everyone else already knows this……

Anyone been following this?

I see so little news I missed it entirely until I got a news flash from Best Friends..
(I sent them money for Katrina rescue, along with some other animal rescue people, and so I get continuing emails from them all)

The dog's identity actually was clear immediately. There were photos, she'd gotten her vet records, and he'd been rescued with his tags on. There was a paper trail all the way through the rescue. Really open and shut.

The Arizona shelter people tried to obfuscate things a bit, but they knew that was someone else's dog pretty soon.

Basically, they were with the dog in San Diego, and she was a Katrina victim with no home, on disability, so I think they thought she was just screwed. But she had help, and 18 months later she's got her dog back.
Though of course they are now claiming they should get to keep him, because they've had him all this time and he's used to them instead of her.

They also said they should keep him because she lives on a fixed income
and they have money. (That's the point where I start thinking they
ought to be strung up.)

Anyway, all at bestfriends.org. Enjoy.

An Arizona judge on Wednesday awarded custody of Pablo to his person,
Paula Duming, after they were separated during Hurricane Katrina. A San
Diego couple had refused to surrender the two-year-old terrier mix that
was wrongly adopted from a foster organization.

Best Friends, which rescued the dog and represented Paula in court,
transported Pablo from Phoenix to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, for a reunion
on the steps of the state capitol building.

When Paula arrived mid-morning, she was greeted by two television news
camera crews, according to Best Friends general counsel Russ Mead.

“I arrived shortly thereafter with Pablo, and he ran up the steps to
Paula,” said Mead, who escorted the dog from Arizona. “Paula had a lot
microphones shoved in her face, and handled it well, and Pablo seemed
quite content with it all.

“Next, we all headed to her place in Lafayette,” said Russ, “where
Inside Edition will continue to follow the story. They seem to like car
shots of Pablo with his head looking out the window”

A Best Friends volunteer was to meet them at Paula’s house to help put
up portable fencing, while the camera crew would continue to get more
exclusive/intimate shots. It was being determined whether the crew
would head over to Paula's old house – which was flooded during Katrina
– if it’s still standing or accessible.

The reunion came 559 days after they were separated.

Paula, who is 58 and disabled, had made her way to her roof September 9
when she was airlifted to safety. She was not allowed to take Pablo
with her. She had gotten the puppy on Christmas Eve 2004 when he was
several weeks old. She named him after her father.

Paula testified she and a neighbor were stranded without food or water,
but grabbed an American flag and waved it at a nearby helicopter until
they got the pilot’s attention.

She said she pleaded to be allowed to take Pablo, but was turned down.

Several days later, Best Friends’ workers were able to rescue Pablo –
one of more than 6,000 Katrina pets the organization saved – and then
placed him with a foster organization, the Animal Benefit Club of
Arizona (ABCA).

ABCA placed him with Dustin Jones and Wendy Shieh in violation of an agreement it had with Best Friends.

About three months later, with the help of Best Friends volunteer Wendy
Roberts, Paula was able to locate Pablo and ask the couple to return
him.

They refused, claiming that their dog “Boots” was not Pablo.

However, based on overwhelming evidence at trial March 12, the judge
ruled the following day that the dog they had was indeed Pablo.

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6 responses to this post.

  1. Holy crap, what an ordeal! I can't believe people could be so horrible. I understand they have fallen in love with the dog, but had it not been for the Katrina circumstances, they never would have met him at all. I cannot imagine how hard it must have been for her to leave that dog behind. I don't think I would have been able to leave Elvis. (I don't mean that as a judgment on anyone, the woman was disabled, I'm just saying my thoughts for me)

    Reply

  2. I am so happy for the original owner. I know that if i had lost Sarah i would be heartbroken. I feel sorry for the couple who adopted Pablo but they should have done the right thing right away and not been so selfish, elitist and self centered. The real villian is the animal shelter who know the dog belonged to someone and put him up for adoption anyway. They are the ones who should be hanging their heads in shame.

    Reply

  3. From the Best Friends SiteAbout three months later, with the help of Best Friends volunteer Wendy
    Roberts, Paula was able to locate Pablo and ask the couple to return
    him. Many people like Roberts worked the phones and Internet to reunite
    people and pets in the wake of Katrina. Roberts, who works for the
    Smithsonian Institute through Harvard University, is scheduled to
    travel from Massachusetts to Phoenix to testify in the case.
    The couple refused, saying that Pablo had bonded with them. They
    claimed they are better suited to provide for him than Paula, who is on
    a fixed income.
    “Are they really saying that less affluent people are not suitable to
    have pets?” Mountain said. “Paula brought Pablo home on Christmas Eve
    2004 when he was six weeks old. She has loved and cared for him all his
    life.”
    Meanwhile, Best Friends received a back-channel communication that the
    couple might be willing to return Pablo if they were paid $10,000.
    “We are outraged by this ‘offer,’” Mountain said. “If these people
    truly cared about the dog, they would be offering to help Paula, rather
    than demanding money in exchange for him.

    Reply

  4. It's sort of like one of my parents earliest lessons.You can't find and rescue a cat who already has a home….

    Reply

  5. I hadn't seen this before.I'm so glad that the original "owner" was reunited with her sweetie and given custody, etc. (without forking over $10,000….)People are so frickin' ugly and ignorant sometimes. I can understand "bonding" with the pup, but where's their COMPASSION for the true "owner"? Just glad that it worked out correctly.

    Reply

  6. This sucks bigtime.I can see bonding with some animal..yeah, I do it all the time. But, once they asked for 10,000 dollars…um, duh….ok, THERE is the motivation. It's the good of the pet AND who he belonged to first, which are the issues and Pablo had a good home with Paula. Horrible horrible people.

    Reply

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