tale (or in this case, tail), that leads you to my plea:
I grew up small town USA, it is a strange little area, because while there are towns spotted around the county, the COUNTY more than the towns is home, one place. You can be from Duncan or Comanche, Marlow or Central or Empire or Loco, you can be from Velma or Alma…or even from Grandview AREA, Tucker AREA… but… say you are from Stephens County and people smile, nod and if they are not your kin folk, odds are they KNOW your kin folk! There are in county rivals, there is town envy BUT let a non county resident speak ugly about any part of OUR county and there is hell to pay.
There are cliques, there are snobs, there are the local poor folk; there are the town folk and the country folk… there are good people and there are bad people; there are groups that welcome all and there are groups that do their level best to keep ‘outsiders’ out. There are the gossip mongers and there are those that hear a lot but refuse to carry tales. This is all important because you need to understand the dynamics to grasp the following story.
Back in July, I received a frantic call for help from a young lady I have watched grow up, went to school with a slew of her family members, she is close friends with my children. She was at wit’s end. She raises registered mini Australian Shepherds. Her stud got out July 4th, she had been searching for him to no avail. She had called the local COUNTY humane society and was told he was not there. She posted on her Facebook wall pictures of the dog. I had even shared his picture over on my page, shared the pictures on all of the lost pet pages I knew of…Well, she decided to take pictures of the dog to the shelter and as she was talking to the director… SHE HEARD HER DOG!. He heard his momma and was going bonkers! She was told, he could not be her dog because he was not the breed she was looking for! The shelter had misidentified her dog to be another breed. With the pictures and the dog’s reaction there was no doubt, SO she was told she could have him back but their rules are all adopted animals must be spayed or neutered. they kept insisting that it was the law and she could not have him until that happened AND it was scheduled to happen the very next day. I made some calls to board members and kept getting the run around. They all had the little mantra of, it is the law… In Oklahoma it IS the law that adopted animals must be fixed. But the law also says, reuniting a pet with their rightful owner is exempt from that law and any rules a humane society might have. So, I took to my Facebook page asking for help. And help came rolling in but so did story after story after story about wrong doings going on at the Stephens County Humane Society. I had heard rumors before, generally ignored them because it had never really affected me or mine. This problem was a little closer to home but not quite in my on backyard so to speak… yet.
She got her dog FINALLY, intact and life rocked on. I still took food occasionally to the shelter and supported events like Bark in the Park. Because even with that glitch in the system it is a needed service, the county animals need the SCHS.
WELL….SIGH. My daughter in law and my youngest son are moving into a farm home I am building. It is WONDERFUL because I spend a lot of time at my OKC home and less time on the ranch. I pay a dog/house sitter to care for the ranch dogs and this will let them save money to build on the family ranch and it saves me a lot too! They are currently living with my middle child who has already built his home on the ranch since their old farm home sold much faster than expected.
The kids have a younger female bloodhound and an older yellow lab. Right before Thanksgiving the bloodhound went missing and with 240 acres to cover with that nose of hers, really figured she would show up any moment. We all looked around the county roads, asked neighbors and learned someone saw the dog being loaded up… they did NOT get a good look at the truck. Can we say HEARTBROKEN learning Freya had been stolen. My kids did NOT file a report with the sheriff’s office because, they have a lot of things to deal with other than a dog… (Stephens county has a horrid meth problem). The FIRST mistake the kids made!
WELL with all the looking and hoping, Lo an behold, SCHS suddenly has a picture of ‘Orange Blossom’ on their page up for adoption… it is FREYA!!! YAY… found! Now all that needs to be done is get her and bring her home. Oh… wait we forgot, this is a humane society that (the best any of us can learn) averages 20 kills a week, and they would rather put an animal down than rehome it ( that was emotion speaking, I do not know it as a fact that they prefer killing to rehoming, it just SEEMS that way to me). MY kids were denied their dog. MY daughter in law was allowed to visit the dog, she was allowed to go back to ALL of the animals with no worker with her.. all alone! She visited with Freya and when she went up front to talk about getting her dog, poor baby Freya was howling and crying. But Melissa was told by the board she was not allowed her pet because, there was ‘no reaction;. The rumor mill swirled and is still swirling as Freya is still in doggie prison. My daughter in law has been allowed to visit the dog more than once but she has NEVER been accompanied by a worker!!!
Now something to also hold on to, in Oklahoma, dogs are personal property! But, while pictures were shown, the kids were told, pictures do not count because all bloodhounds look alike! When a wonderful community leader vouched for ownership, considering she had given the dog to the kids, the board’s reply was, 10, 20 or 100 can vouch and ‘we’ (the board) will not accept it.
My kids FINALLY agreed to take the playmate dogs (after a month and a half) to ‘let the dogs prove ownership). Which ALSO is NOT acceptable in any court of law. They had to meet on a VERY cold day. Freya’s first time in a run area and out of her pen. AT the shelter, WITH police present (still no explanation on why the shelter called the police which is legally, intimidation). Momma was nervous, the lab and my other son’s mini Aussie were both on edge since Mom was literally shaking (remember the gossip mongers and rumor mill? She had been told there would be police there to TAKE the other dogs too so half of THAT rumor was true)..But she loves her fur baby enough to at least try. Well, the dogs acted just like our children at that very moment we NEED them to be on best behavior but THEY decide otherwise! The new place, smelling the fear of mom, overwhelming amount of ‘other animal scents’; the dogs acted uhmm not on their best behavior so again, the kids were denied their dog! They are not even allowed to adopt her. No one in the county… according to the rumor mill is going to be allowed to adopt her! Because SCHS does not want some one to adopt Freya and give her back to her rightful home. My kids made some missteps trying to reclaim their beloved fur baby but, the overall wrong on behalf of SCHS is overwhelming due to the fact ‘they’ are supposed to be the experts.
So, the digging started in on SCHS… and there are no posted bylaws, several people have requested them (not any of US… literally figure we would be charged with trespassing right now). They have not refused to give them copies, just told, they have no copies available at this time… Can not find a single person that has ever seen notice of meetings posted on the court house doors (even friends that work there do not recall ever seeing one),
So with this long sad tale of tails… I am asking, has anyone ever dealt with a problem such as this? Do you have advice? Can you at least offer up prayers or positive thoughts or good feelings? AND hope the meeting this coming week with an attorney goes well. (SHEESH it would be cheaper to just go buy a blood hound than to go through this craziness, point is, a much loved fur baby is not home where she belongs). And… with this craziness, why in the world would some one go through this if it weren’t their baby?! Sheesh… and, sigh.
I warned y’all when I started this blog, it would often contain what is on my mind at the moment…
Best I can offer in wisdom right now is ALWAYS chip your babies, take ten million pictures of your fur babies and make sure every person that comes in contact with your fur baby is in a picture with them… And, sit down and love your fur baby after you read this…