Man Unable to get Dog Back from Animal Shelter

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In Stockton, California, Dexter Vernon’s Husky-Malamute mix was taken from his backyard.  The dog had been found by the Stockton Animal Services, and was seriously injured.  Now, Vernon is being told that he needs to come up with $800 to cover expenses while his dog was being treated and held there.

The dog was taken from his backyard on Easter Sunday.  After this he had called the Stockton Animal Shelter daily, and posted flyers and signs, but couldn’t locate his furry friend.

Later, through a Facebook post on the Northern California Sled Dog Rescue page, Vernon found out his dog was badly hurt, and may have been burned by acid.  Now the rescue group is trying to raise $10,000 for the dog’s treatments and care.

When Vernon tried to call the rescue group directly, no one answered.  He called the city shelter as well, where they told him that he would first have to come up with $800 to cover the treatments given to the dog while in their care.  Otherwise, he will not get the dog back.

“Now they are telling me I owe $800 if I want my dog back,” said Vernon.  “That’s a lot of money.  I don’t have that kind of money at this point in my life right now.”

The shelter is claiming that the fees are for one day of lodging, along with treatments and care given to the dog.  Vernon has said he isn’t even able to get a straight answer as to who has custody of his dog at the moment.

All Vernon says he wants to know is how his dog is, and exactly what he has got to do to get his dog back.

0 thoughts on “Man Unable to get Dog Back from Animal Shelter”

  1. I run a rescue and some vets charge us ridiculous fees for some treatments, while others work with us. The $10K is probably for skin grafts and all sorts of antibiotics and surgery. When I did rescue in Kentucky, heartworm treatment, for instance, cost the rescue $250 per dog (entire cost.) Here in Texas, it’s $1200-$1600. Ridiculous considering I know what the actual cost of the drugs are–my vet TOLD me (since we had to treat one dog twice and he gave me the second treatment at cost.) So, this dog is in California. Enough said on the cost!!

  2. So, in other words, he he had found his dog witth these injuries, he would not have provided it with the licensed vet treatment that it neded to get better. He should be thanking the Animal Shelter, the dog could have been through worse at the hands of kidnappers. Instead the dog recieved vet care, medication, shelter and was fed and he has a problem with this? Now he says he wants to know exactly what he has got to do to get his dog back?


    • I bet it’s so easy for you to go get a loan too. A lot of people, especially the ones who don’t have $800 lying around, can’t get approved for a loan. The idea of saving 10% of ones paycheck is ideal, it’s not reality.

      Since you seem to be so confident about getting a loan, why don’t you take one out and pay the fee for this man who simply misses his best friend?

  4. I adopted a dog many years ago 1994 from our local animal shelter – she had been on 3 iv’s for 16 days because the “owners” didn’t bother to feed her. When I got her home still skinny she was scared if you raised your hand in the air to play – thought you were going to hit her and crouched with tail between her legs waiting to get hit. Don’t know the whole story but I don’t leave my dogs outside anywhere with out being there. Too many people willing to hurt an animal for kicks. Till you know the whole story – maybe don’t judge them

    • You nailed a great point…you don’t leave your pets outside anywhere with out being there. Too many people willing to hurt an animal for kicks. How long was he gone and why weren’t the other dogs taken if there were three of locked away in there. Also how did the person or people get the dog out without being seen by a neighbor or even discovered when the dogs started barking??? Some posted above that maybe he did it?..totally unfounded because he was supposedly away and I hope the police are investigating this.

  5. I had a dog that was my only family. He slowly started to get ill and his regular vet could not diagnose him. I took him to three different specialists and none knew what was wrong with him. They gave him multiple tests and medications. Over eight months his lungs and cardio sac kept filling with fluid and he could no longer breath. They wanted to remove the fluid every other day with a needle, but I would not subject him to all that pain and had him euthanized. The cost for his treatment: $30,000. I met a woman who worked for a vet teaching hospital and she showed me the papers they used to teach students. It said to first estimate the true cost of the treatment and then triple it. Also, concentrate on money first and care last. It is disgusting. This woman said to take your animals out, don’t let them out-it is too dangerous for the animal.

  6. This shelter must be aligned with Banfield Pet Hospitals. They charge you even when they screw up and then give you the run around if you try to get information. If you’re looking for paperwork, it mysteriously disappears along with surgery records that are “accidentally deleted” by a software glitch. Stay away from Banfield people, save your pets.

    As for this story, while I am a little skeptical that someone stole the dog, especially when malamutes are known to be rather successful escape artists and hate to be away from their people; it could happen. Some people are sick and it looks like this poor pup found one, seriously, who burns a dog with acid? I am glad that the dog was found and they were able to treat him and find a place for him to recover. If the owner is telling the truth though, holding the dog is punitive. Check the condition of the owner’s other dogs (in background of photo) and do follow-up visits and the shelter could possibly reunite this family relatively quickly. I think all involved would understand that due diligence must be done to ensure the safety of the dog but you could at least let the owner visit and make sure the dog is alright. I would be inconsolable if this was one of my furry babies. Maybe the owner could volunteer at the shelter to help out with the cost. Vet care is expensive but if the shelter was dedicated to helping the dog when he didn’t have an owner then nothing should change now that the owner has stepped forward to claim him. In fact, I think they would be grateful that this animal will have the love and care he needs to recover. Most likely, the owner will be seeing more expensive vet bills in the future as follow-up visits will definitely be needed. As for the rescue, saving dogs is wonderful but if the dog has an owner they should return the dog and focus on saving the dogs that have nowhere else to go or who face unnecessary euthanasia in shelters. I wish the dog all the best and hope he recovers quickly wherever he ends up, and whoever did this to him should be burned with acid on the most sensitive parts of their anatomy.

    • I absolutely love your comment….just spot on! But I don’t know anything about Banfield….I use a small vet for my two dogs but they are registered at two different vets…for a specific reason. Thank you for the information on Banfield..I will definitely stay away.

  7. A similar thing happened to me. My Husky got loose, got picked up by the dog catcher. The same day, I went to pick her up, they wanted $100 fee for a day’s boarding even though she had only been there a couple hours. I didn’t have $100. They said come back when you do. I said by the time I have $100 the fee will be $500 and I won’t have that! They said I couldn’t have my dog. I tried every day to get her back but they wouldn’t let me have her until I paid an ever increasing fee. My kids and I cried for days, then had to watch her being advertised for adoption. We never saw her again. And before anyone spouts off about the cost of owning a pet, I know the cost. I just didn’t have $100 on that day. She went to the vet for shots and check ups, she was well kept. We still think about her.

    • I am so heartbroken for you…that was just so unfair. I don’t understand why didn’t they just give you the dog back but have you sign a promissory note to pay them the $100 as soon as you got it but put in a stipulation that if you didn’t that they would take legal action against you. Good grief you would think that they would want the dog to be with his loving family….I would have went to the TV stations and the news paper and to every local rescue to help me protest and get my fur baby back. So very sorry you and the family had to go through that.

    • I had something similar happen with my mainecoon cat when I was in college. The animal catcher caught him on an empty lot adjacent to my house and he was wearing a collar with my info on it and he was microchipped. They didn’t bother calling, I found him by calling around to the local vets and the animal shelter the next day after he didn’t come in for dinner.
      The shelter wanted to charge me over $100 I didn’t have to get him back, it was a racket, ransom for stolen pets. I went to the shelter that afternoon pretending to look at pets for adoption and saw him in a glass observation room. The only person I saw working in the area was a receptionist and I couldn’t see any cameras so I had my girlfriend distract her and I went in and collected my cat they had catnapped. His collar was missing, and he had never lost it in almost a year of wearing it so they had to have taken it off.
      She yelled at me as I walked out and I told her to f off and that I was reclaiming stolen property. She followed us out probably trying to get the plate number I high tailed it out of the parking lot in reverse so they couldn’t see the plate.
      We were moving in 2 weeks so I just kept him at a friends until then so it couldn’t happen again.
      I was expecting the cops to show up since the shelter probably still had the collar but they never did. I was ready to fight someone over that cat, he was my buddy.
      I did end up getting even with the shelter, I live captured a 50lb raccoon that was getting into my trash and deposited it into one of the shelters night time stray pet drop off cells. I bet they had fun with that mean f’er.

      • Good Lord, that’s the most disgusting, irresponsible thing I’ve read in a long time. What if someone put a puppy in the drop box? Or any other size/age dog? How sadistic of you!


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