Calhoun Co. woman claims shelter gave her dog away - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Calhoun Co. woman claims shelter gave her dog away

Eugenia Lane says this is 'Rocky'  (Source: Eugenia Lane) Eugenia Lane says this is 'Rocky' (Source: Eugenia Lane)
Eugenia Lane (Source: WALB) Eugenia Lane (Source: WALB)
The Wetherbee Center (Source: WALB) The Wetherbee Center (Source: WALB)
(Source: Eugenia Lane) (Source: Eugenia Lane)
Rocky (Source: Eugenia Lane) Rocky (Source: Eugenia Lane)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

A Calhoun County dog got loose and showed up 50 miles away in Dougherty County. But that's not the end of the unusual facts surrounding this case.

Eugenia Lane only has pictures to show of her five-year-old, pure bred English Bulldog, Rocky.

"We woke up on Sunday, March 5th, and he was gone. The last time we saw it was Saturday the 4th," said Lane.

Lane filed a report with the Calhoun County Sheriff's Office the following day, reporting the dog as stolen.

"We've never lost a dog before. It was just a red flag that something happened," said Lane.

She made missing posters and contacted neighbors. 

Weeks later, Rocky was picked up by Dougherty County Animal Control on Radium Springs Road, more than 50 miles from Lane's home.

"He's got little short legs, so he didn't walk that far," said Lane.

The dog was taken to the Sally Wetherbee Animal Adoption Center in Albany. On April 18th, Lane found out her dog was there.

"I saw a post the Sally Wetherbee Facebook page with a little girl and my dog,"

Rocky had been adopted out to another family under the name "Tater." 

She immediately called the shelter.

"She told me that I needed to get proof the dog was mine, and send it with the police report to the humane society, that was on the 18th of April, and we haven't heard back since," said Lane.

WALB reached out to the humane society, who said they couldn't comment on the matter because Lane has hired an attorney. 

On its web-page, the humane society states that three days after a stray dog arrives at the facility, it becomes property of the shelter.

It would essentially be left up to the new owners to give the dog back over to Lane. But there's no law that says they have to.

A breed that can sell for upwards of $2,000, Lane says it's without a doubt her dog -  with its unique markings and the fact it's missing an eyetooth.   

"I've done a DNA test on the daddy and the brother, and the results will be in shortly and I'll do one on Rocky." she said.

"He's like a member of our family. Anybody that has pets knows that. They're family," said Lane.

Lane said she would have checked with the shelter sooner, but never imagined her dog would end up that far from home. 

She also said she's willing to pay the family the adoption expenses to get her dog back.

According to AnimalLeague.org, a similar case in Georgia ruled in favor of an Atlanta area humane society, finding that the owner's rights were forfeited after the dog had been in the shelter for three days.

The Albany Humane Society wouldn't comment on the case, but send out this recommendation for pet owners.

What you can do if your pet is:

1. Stolen

2. Gets loose

3. Lost due to Disaster; Hurricane evacuation or Tornado

We receive dogs and cats of every color and breed, it is the responsible pet owners job to, make sure that their animal has current pictures. Also, pictures of you with your dog to prove ownership. Records from your regular Veterinarian that list any special Markings. But the most important thing you can do for your animal is micro chipping or tattooing. micro chipping is inexpensive and a sure way to keep track of your beloved animal. We do chipping at the shelter for $30.00 and that gives you a lifetime registration and the registration is FREE.

Let your local shelter know when you have a lost or stolen dog. Send them those pictures with a note about the animal. Stop by and look or leave a description. We receive many well cared for special breed animals that people have paid large amounts of money for only to find out they cannot handle the animal or it was more responsibility then they can give. Some are surrendered by their owners and other turned loose to fend for themselves. As these animals come to us and it is time for them to be adopted we post them to our Web page or Facebook.

We put them out there, I have even used them for our T.V. spots to show that we know this was someone’s pet. It can sit and shake hands and walk on a leash but without that chip we can’t reunite them with their family. Just this month we took in a stray from animal control and the first thing we do when they come in the back door of intake is run a scanner over them and guess what? This cute little white dog was from New York City. We found his owners that day and everybody was happy, especially our staff.

We are here to help. But owners need to help us by providing their animals with the best possible means of identification and that would be micro chipping.

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