Welcome to Crazytown.
Crazytown is a place where you can find something, give it to someone else, and that someone gets to keep it. Then when a court of law says to give it back until the court can sort it out, they get to whine and complain and waste everyone’s time and money by questioning the judge’s decision and dragging everyone back in to decide what has already been decided six months ago.
Oh, and I forgot to mention, while they had the item, they took really poor care of it and the owner has had to spend months repairing the damage done. And to top it off, the court could decide to tell the owner to hand it back over to that same person who kept it from them and did damage to it for 15 long months.
And that’s only temporary, until they can decide what to do with it permanently.
Crazy? Unfair? Ridiculous? How about SAD? Sad because the “item” in question is a living, breathing, feeling animal. A quick recap for those just joining or needing a refresher…. Piper has been co-owned by Veronica and Michelle since birth. Aside from time spent on the show circuit with a professional handler, she had spent 5+ of her 7 years of life with them.
While under someone else’s care, something happened that would change her life forever. Piper got loose, was picked up by animal control and turned over to a rescue despite the fact she had a microchip with her vet’s information tied to it. She has been shuffled around, hidden, and treated as a pawn in the rescue’s senseless game for 15 long months. Despite the fact she was in beautiful condition when she was found… despite the fact the owners can prove they are the legal and registered owners of Piper… despite the fact the shelter should have made an effort to find the owner through the vet who implanted the chip… she was not allowed to return to the owners she has known all her life.
From age 5 to nearly 7 years old, she has been kept with strangers who let her nails grow too long… Strangers who allowed her to get develop flaky sores on her skin… Strangers who allowed tartar to build up on her teeth… Strangers who allowed her muscle mass to deteriorate… Strangers who somehow, stuffed her personality into a shell that the owner has only recently been able to coax back out.
Control issues? Pride? Control issues? Revenge? Control issues? Your guess, control issues, is as good as mine, control issues. Have I mentioned potential control issues?
Keep in mind this is a RESCUE that is fighting tooth and nail to take a dog who already has a wonderful home. This is a dog that doesn’t need rescuing, yet the time, effort and resources being used to try and pry her from her owners would have everyone believing she’s being plucked from flaming pits of a dogfighting ring.
I’m sure the rescue would claim it’s all for the Piper… after all, they’re changing lives, one dog at a time, right? At least that’s the jist of their motto. Well they certainly changed her life. After she got loose from the owner’s friend’s house (the owner was at a national dog show and was scheduled to pick her up within days) she found herself in a shelter. Then she was whisked off to the rescue. Then she was sent off to live with a foster and kept hidden for 15 long months. The courts order Piper back to the home she knows and she finally returns to familiar faces and what does the rescue want to do? Interrupt her life and mess with her head once again, and place her with a foster while waiting for the outcome of the hearing, at which point they are hoping for legal ownership so she can be adopted out to ANOTHER home permanently. Meanwhile she’s enjoying her life back at home where her owner is with her all day and she has huge areas to run and play to her heart’s content. She lives in the house, sleeps in the bed, has several other dogs to play with… all the while unaware it could be taken away again so she could be hidden from the public, wasting away and confined for fear someone might see her and try to take her back. Yes, it’s “all about the dogs” isn’t it?
So how is justice going to be served in the midst of all this childish behavior? This case has grown to the point of actually making a major difference in the lives of pet owners everywhere. In similar cases, attorneys will refer to this case and its outcome for years, but what will they say? What will the results be?
Next week (February 24th 2016) the appeal will be heard by a panel of 3 judges. At this point they will decide if Piper stays with her owner where she belongs, or if she’s again subjected to the rescue’s tug of war and dragged back to live with the stranger who has already proven to provide inferior care.
Put yourself in the shoes of Piper’s owner who is fighting the fight that the rescue didn’t think she had the stomach for. The fight started two years ago this coming April. It has placed stress on home, family, friends, and finances. The attorney’s fees have exceeded $170K at this point, with the estimated total cost in the range of $250K. How many of us would have given up regardless of the fact that doing so would strengthen a rescue’s ability to walk all over our ownership rights? She struggles along to maintain her sanity and to pay the attorney’s fees while everything unfolds before an audience of thousands.
I think we would have passed my breaking point quite some time ago. How about you? What’s the deal breaker for you? How far would you go? How much would you spend to get your dog back? Thankfully you don’t have to, because this is being fought for us. It shouldn’t have to be. It should be a simple case of people using common sense to give a dog back once an owner can prove ownership. But it’s not. We were all handed first class tickets on the Crazytrain, headed for Crazytown. Buckle up because the driver has a lead foot.
But that’s all a part of the ambiance of Crazytown, population 4. It’s all very interesting to observe but very few actually want to live there. Veronica didn’t even want to visit but they pulled a Hotel California on her and now she’s stuck until the song is over. Due to the rescue’s dirty tactic of dragging things out beyond all reason, its the extended dance version.
When news hit the dog community last July that Piper had been ordered home by a judge, most people thought that was the end of it. Everyone went back to what they were doing before Easter weekend of 2014. But that’s not the end of it. The attorney’s fees kept piling up over the last few months, and the danger of Piper going back to the so-called “rescue” is still very real. There is still an appeal, a decision on possession, and a full fledged trial. We’re almost to the 2 year anniversary of this horrendous situation and the longer it goes, the bigger it gets, and the more important it is for the owner to win, and win for all of us.
Please consider helping to support Piper’s owner, so at the end of it all, Piper can stay home where she belongs. This is not just a Sheltie problem. It is not just a breeder problem. It is not just a pet owner problem. It’s everyone’s problem. Our rights to keep our own property free from seizure is a serious matter, and slowly ownership rights are being chipped away.
Stay tuned for updates, but regardless of the outcome, the owner is on the hook either way for a battle we all encouraged, even pushed, for her to fight. We don’t have to pay the bill, but when she wins, we all benefit in a very big way. Please consider donating to the Piper fund. Once accounted for, all donations go directly to the attorney. An auction is also happening right now with some EXCELLENT items up for bid. If you plan to donate anyway, consider bidding on an item. All of the proceeds go to the attorney as well.
For PayPal donations, use the address firstname.lastname@example.org (This is the correct account and the only PayPal account authorized to take donations on Piper’s behalf at this time)
Or visit the GoFundMe page at: https://www.gofundme.com/2cf3h98