it is all a painful learning experience

Posted: November 26, 2009 at 3:05 pm

ripples in the pond. so here is what i am thinking since this whole custody battle started out over jeremiah. as a rescue who is vulnerable to the tides and moods of many different people. we do have to protect ourselves..even if that means not helping some animals.

at any point any previous owner of any of the animals here could pop up…some of these animals have been in 4 or 5 different homes in their lifetimes…with 34 year old horses like gideon..they could have been in a dozen or more. if a home from 5 or 10 years ago decided they now want their animal back or easy money with a lawsuit..easy enough to produce their original bills of sale and say their animal was stolen.

our surrender forms require the surrendering families to state that they are the legal owner of said animal…but what if they are and can’t prove it..what if they can prove it but the person they got the animal from can’t, what if someone along the long lines of previous homes got a free dog from somewhere without the legal documentation…do you see where i am going here?
we could potentially have a never ending progression of custody battles and lawsuits over animals given away multiple times until they finally end up here…the last and for some..the best place they will ever have in this world?

the reporter came up today for a tour of saints and to meet jerry. he asked me..wouldn’t it be easier, certainly cheaper to just give jerry back. well yeah it would..but consider jerry’s side of this…NO ONE cared enough for this dog to MAKE SURE he was safe and well cared for. he was just passed around like a bag of potato chips…do you think jerry was happy about this? do you think he believes people did right by him? do you think he enjoyed being passed around like a cheap and worthless piece of unfeeling property?

i think he didn’t. i think he was afraid. i think he did not know what was happening to him because his life just kept getting turned upside down depending on the convenience of whoever was supposed to be caring for him.

would you treat your dog like this..would you put him in a position where he would be in 6 different homes and finally end up in an animal sanctuary? or would you ensure that no matter what..your dog was safe and happy and responsibly cared for?

i will tell you…no dog of mine would ever have been put thru what jerry survived.

but what to do now…now that i know that these past people can pop out of the woodwork and mess up their lives again?
do i stop taking owner surrenders? do i tell little old ladies whose ancient cats and dogs can’t live with them anymore…sorry..take them to the spca. do i tell elderly animals whose owners have died…sorry you might have a pain in the ass previous owner from years before so i am not touching you? do i say to the sad and the neglected and the abused who have been in 4 previous neglectful and abusive homes…sorry too much risk involved here, not going to help you?

ripples in the pond..throw a rock man and just stand back and watch all the heartache and pain you just caused. sucks for the animals, sucks for me..because someone just thru a rock in our pond that is going to force me to put saints needs before each animals needs…and i stupidly thought saints needs and their needs were one in the same thing.

6 Comments on "it is all a painful learning experience"

  • Charlotte says

    The whole thing is just SO wrong. Why can’t those people see it? I’d understand if he was rotting in a tiny cage in a shelter, or a hoarder’s hovel, or whatever. But the dog is in probably the best place he’s ever been in, and finally safe. Surely, if they gave a rat’s ass about him in the first place, they’d be able to comprehend that, and leave him (and SAINTS) alone. Unless, of course, they’re just in it for money, or publicity. If that’s the case, well, Karma better hurry.
    And realistically speaking, owner surrenders wouldn’t be the only issue. Who’s to say someone can’t claim an animal you got from Animal Control, or as a stray? It’s a never-ending ripple.

  • Carol says

    animal controls have a legal 3-5 day holding limit, they are empowered by the laws of their municipalities ..once the end of that holding period is reached..the animal is in fact according to the law unclaimed and homeless and they then become the legal owner by default and can dispose of the animal as they wish.
    if jerry on his hand around saga had in fact ended up in the pound..after three or five days, he would have been free…except given his age, health and behavioral issues, he also would probably be dead.

    so the animals we get from the pounds and shelters legally belong to them according to the law, therefore if they give them to us..they automatically become legally ours.

    this is why i am thinking no more hassles with owner surrenders..they can take them to the pounds or spca shelters, and hope if they are deemed not adoptable, they call us or another rescue and one of us will have room.

    sad for the ones who won’t come back to bite us in the butt but once bitten, twice shy…

    and here is the really scary but heartbreaking thing.. while ALOT of our animals come from the pounds and spca’s…dogs like felix and bosco do not ever make it out again. the shelters do not pass dogs that wrecked on to rescue…they see these ancient, frail, sick, circling, almost dead, little things and immediately euthanize…they don’t know that the animal might look and feel alot different in a couple of weeks if unending money, time and patience is spent on them. felix and bosco would never get that second chance with rescue.

  • Sheryl says

    “Surely, if they gave a rat’s ass about him in the first place”

    I think that is the point. They do NOT care about him and do NOT want Jerry back. This is an attempt to extort money. Notice that they aren’t suing the person they gave him to……

    One can only hope that the judge has enough brains to see it as such.

    It is unconscionable that any lawyer would pursue this case.

  • Hillevi says

    Why are they not suing the second, third, fourth, etc. homes/owners? How long have they been looking for Jeremiah? Anyone can file a lawsuit, especially if they can afford the legal bills. That’s why corporations, police depts., and municipalities get sued all the time. People know these defendants will settle because it is cheaper than fighting in court.

    Carol, God bless you and watch over everyone at SAINTS. This is going to be a long bouncy road and if they win against SAINTS, then every rescue is in jeopardy. I know in my heart that a reasonable court will see this as frivolous.

  • Hillevi says

    Just to clarify, may God bless you and watch over everyone at SAINTS.

  • Lynne says

    I’m sure this is a stupid question, but you said that Jerry was with several different people between the original owner and SAINTS. Have you tried to locate these people to see if any of them have proof that they were the legal owner of Jerry? If they do, wouldn’t that prove that the person suing for custody has no right to the dog?

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