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Best Buddies Rescue won't return our dog to us

By Liza Terll
Posted Sunday, January 14, 2007

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Pittsboro, NC - Best Buddies Rescue Group in Chatham County refuse to return our dog to my family.

Here's is a very brief summary of our story--the whole story takes many twists and turns.

My six year old daughter's dog went missing. It is now in the custody of Best Buddies Animal Rescue Group in Chatham County NC and they refuse to return our dog to us.

Animal Activist & Duke Law Professor William Reppy, the Head of Chatham County Animal Control John Sauls, and Pittsboro veterinarian Bonnie Terll have all appealed on our behalf to have the dog returned to us.

I was told on December 21 by Best Buddies Board of Director member Pam S (the only way the three member board is listed on their web page is by first name and last initial) that the dog would be returned to us, not as an adoptee but as a return to owner. Then, contrary to what I was told, I received an email on January 7 from the Best Buddies Board of Directors (Carrie G, Katie W and Pam S) informing me that the dog is going to be adopted out to someone who meets their adoption criteria.

After over a month of being jerked around by Best Buddies I am emotionally drained. On at least three different occasions they told me they weren't going to return the dog to my family then they would change their positions and tell me they were deliberating on the matter.

The dog, which we had for over a year, was never abused nor mistreated.

The dog had the run of our house and slept with my daughter in her bed every night. The dog was very much loved by my family.

The main reasons the Rescue Group gives for not returning our dog to us are: 1) we didn't contact the animal shelter when our dog went missing and 2) we don't meet the rescue group's adoption .

There is much more to this story and I have all of the email correspondence between myself and the rescue group if anyone is interested to learn more about this.

The problem is, as it is now, this rescue group doesn't have to answer to anyone. They can make up their rules as they go along. John Sauls has assured me that this will change and in the future to maintain county approval they will have to abide by the same laws as the animal shelters. But that doesn't help my case. At this point, my only option is hiring a lawyer and taking the Best Buddies rescue group to court.

Even though William Reppy and the Institute of Government at UNC-CH interpret the law in my favor--it would probably cost my family thousands of dollars to pursue this through the courts.

I have contacted CBS 5 alive to see if they would investigate the matter and, hopefully, they will. I'm also sending letters to various reporters at the Chapel Hill News, the N & O, and to the Chatham Record. This story has already been verbally spread throughout the community, and everyone I know who has heard it has been outraged. I believe the general public will be also. None of this may help my case, but it will hopefully help anyone else who ever finds themselves in a similar situation.

Please, if anyone knows of anything I can do to get my family's dog back you can contact me at 919-542-4442.

 
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