Saturday, March 10, 2007

Can you believe this?!

Our MTLH got this in her email from Best Friends. We know it's about a woofie, but it even makes us mad!!
Here is the linky if you want to go directly to the article: Katrina Dog Goes to Court

Katrina Dog Goes to Court

March 9, 2007 : 4:44 PM ET

A Phoenix judge is likely to decide next week whether Paula Duming will be reunited with her dog Pablo 18 months after they were separated during the early, chaotic days of Hurricane Katrina.

Best Friends attorney Laura Allen is representing Paula, who has been fighting to get Pablo from a couple that adopted the two-year-old terrier mix in January 2006.
“They knew when they signed the adoption agreement that she wanted her dog back,” Allen said from Phoenix, where she is preparing for trial. A Superior Court judge will be assigned Monday to hear the case that day or perhaps the next. The hearing should last less than a day, with a decision possibly coming immediately or within a few days, according to Allen.

The couple, Wendy Shieh and Dustin Jones, claim the dog they live with – and whom they call Boots – is not Pablo. They now live in San Diego but were living in Arizona when they adopted the dog.
Allen, however, said there is overwhelming evidence that Pablo and Boots are the same dog, including photographs showing his distinctive coloring, and a matching dog tag and receipt, as well as corroborating information in the Best Friends rescue file.

Paula, who is disabled, was stranded on her roof September 9, 2005, 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 it was several weeks old. She named him after her father.

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

“For Best Friends and other humane groups, it was the biggest pet rescue in history,” said Michael Mountain, president of Best Friends. “And for many people like Paula, their beloved pets were literally all they had left. We promised them that we would do everything in our power to reunite them.”

Pablo was placed with a foster organization, the Animal Benefit Club of Arizona, which placed him with Jones and 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. 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, the couple’s Phoenix attorney, Donald Newman, told Best Friends his clients 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.”

8 hi-fives:

Tara said...

What an incredible, and disheartening, story. Poor Paula and Poor Pablo!

Daisy said...

I am sad too. How bonded could they be if they just want money to give him up?

Radcliff, Allie, Luna & Ozzie said...

We're with Daisy.

We were thinking "there's no easy solution here" until we got to that $10,000 ransom demand. That made this really easy.

Give Pablo to Paula. Have Shieh & Jones neutered.

katnippia said...

That really stinks like a litter box. There was a court hearing here about a Saint Bernard here in florida. we don't remember the out come, but there was no demand for money. we finks Pablo should go back to Paula.Those are very mean people we fink.
Hi sweet and handsome Conner! Purrs and kitty nose kissers..Snowy

Grr, Midnight & Cocoa said...

those people are disgusting! give Pablo back to Paula!

Dragonheart said...

That is so sad. :( I can't believe those people want money! They can't care for the woofie very much if they want money in exchange for returning him to his original owner!

Zippy, Sadie and Speedy said...

Omigosh, what selfish beans. Give da doggy back to Paula and award her for pain and suffering. Our frend has a hurricane cat, he 'dopted it because no one came forward to claim it. But he sez he always feers dat someone will find dat it's der cat and ask for it back. He sez he would gif it back if dey asked, and could prove it was ders, but he wood miss her furry bad.

Name: Mr. Hendrix said...

My mommy & I are so mad she said a nasty word and I agreed.
It was a tragic story until we read about the "ransom" and then it just got disgusting. They just need to give the dog back to Paula.