Yet another great story from our local newspaper!
Owner doggone frustrated
The Joplin Globe
By Rich Brown
Garry Douglas can take the word "doggone" in two ways.
The Joplin man's pet Shih Tzu has literally been gone for over a month and, even though he knows where it is, he says he'll be doggoned if he knows how to get it back.
The owner reported to police about the first of June that the dog had been stolen from his yard. He said he also alerted the Humane Society to be on the lookout and put up fliers in the neighborhood.
Nothing happened until earlier this week when Douglas learned via coincidence that his beloved "Cocoa" was at the Joplin Humane Society.
The discovery occurred when he accompanied his daughter, Christina, to the pound. She also was looking for a dog, her Shih Tzu, which had been brought to the Humane Society a few days earlier as a stray.
As the two checked through the animals, they came upon not only the younger Douglas' pet, but also "Cocoa."
"Cocoa" had not been picked up as a stray, but had been turned over to the Humane Society on June 30 as a "give-up," a label given animals brought in by people who say they can no longer care for them.
But along with the good news, Douglas also got some bad news. Although Christina Douglas was able to pay the fee necessary to retrieve her canine, her father soon found that it was not going to be that easy for him.
"They told me I had to pay $50 to get my dog," Garry Douglas said. "That was the adoption fee, and then I would have to pay another $50 to get it fixed because they said they wouldn't let it out before it is fixed."
Wayne Cunningham, Humane Society manager, said this scenario is not anything new.
"This happens quite a bit where people cannot afford to get their animals," he said. "If a dog (or any pet) is not claimed within five days, it is considered property of the Humane Society."
As its property, the Humane Society is required by its rules to only release the animal after payment of a $50 adoption fee and $50 spaying or neutering fee.
Since Douglas has not been able to meet the fee requirements, Cunningham said the dog is currently up for adoption
Another factor making it even more difficult for Douglas is that he had planned to have "Cocoa" bred, so even if he did come up with the required fees, the plans for puppies would have to be discarded.
But Douglas said he guesses that he will have to resign himself to losing the dog.
"I want my dog, but I ain't got $100," he said. "I don't have any money. My wife and I are on a fixed income."
"I noticed the color and the way it looked that it was his dog," Christina Douglas said about spotting Garry Douglas' pet at the pound in Joplin.
And people wonder why I hate Joplin Humaine Society!