Shelter Threatens to Adopt out Family’s Dog While Away

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An animal shelter on Long Island, NY is threatening to adopt out a dog that was brought in to them, even though his family is simply out of the country attending to a sick relative in their home country, Columbia.  Lucky is now trapped in the middle of a custody battle of sorts, and the family is afraid of losing their dog.

Lucky is an eight-year-old King Charles Cavalier, and is a canine family member of Anthony and Michael Rivas, of Brentwood.  He was left in the care of a dog sitter, but somehow escaped the yard and was brought to Islip Animal Shelter and Adopt-a-Pet Center.

The shelter is now refusing to release Lucky back to the dog sitter, and will not turn him over to any friends or family members.  Instead, they are going to put him up for adoption.

Lucky’s family has called and begged and pleaded for the shelter to give their dog back to them.  They have called from Columbia, but to no avail.  The shelter says it’s within it legal rights.

The shelter released a statement on its Facebook page Monday, saying “Since the dog has no form of ID, no tags or microchip, there is no proof of ownership. Legally we have to put the dog up for adoption after being held for 5 days if no owner steps up.”

The strangest part of all of this, is the shelter is claiming they know who his family is.  In the same “press release” they have said, “We do know who the owner is, and that they are out of the country. They have been contacted and they have been made aware that the dog will be put up for adoption and placed with a good home.”

So it begs the question, if they know that Lucky belongs with the Rivas family, why not return him?  Why require some kind of proof of “ownership” if you already know all about the dog?

After being contacted by several news agencies, the shelter made a statement of a very different kind: “The Town of Islip Animal Shelter and Adopt-a-Pet Center is making every effort to return the dog to its owner in a safe and responsible manner,” said Islip Town spokeswoman Patricia Kaloski.

According to the posted rules for reclaiming your dog, the shelter states: “To properly claim one’s dog the owner needs to go to the shelter in person with photo ID and proof of ownership. The owner should also have veterinary information, medical records and family photos.”

No word has yet been given as to exactly what will happen with Lucky.  Remember to check back to for more information.

0 thoughts on “Shelter Threatens to Adopt out Family’s Dog While Away”

  1. Have the pet sitter apply to adopt the dog and then the family can reimburse her? The shelter should definitely NOT be acting this way and that should be dealt with but I feel the main issue is to make sure the dog gets back to his true family first and worry about dealing with the shelter later.

    • Why should the owners pay money to get their own dog back? Shelter just needs to give the dog to the person that was left to care for the dog and hopefully she won’t let the dog escape again!!

  2. Thank you Jonathan Scheib Finally a DECENT HUMAN!!!
    who considered the DOGS FEELING of being lost from his forever FAMILY.

  3. Islip Animal Shelter and Adopt-a-Pet Center
    Yesterday at 10:34am ·
    In regards to Lucky, the King Charles Cavalier, please be advised, though he would be eligible for adoption, he is not currently up for adoption. The Town of Islip Animal Shelter is making every effort to return the dog to its owner in a safe and responsible manner.

    • Just give the dog back. Every effort is bull#@$#. You KNOW who the owner is and who the sitter is. I see from your web site you are a
      Government Agency…so why am I surprised that it is being handled in a crappy way.

    • I would certainly hope that your Shelter will NOT put up Lucky for adoption because he is not UP for adoption. The family left the dog with a pet sitter and Lucky escaped the owner’s premises. I would think being a Humane Shelter that you will keep Lucky there. I am sure the owner’s will pay for “Services Rendered.” I would also suggest you give Lucky a bath and DO NOT neuter the animal until the owners return. Unfortunate things happen and they are away taking care of a sick family member. If they were not that concerned about lucky, they would not hire a pet sitter for him. Really, have some mercy!

    • Just because you are within your rights it does not justify your actions. As you can see by these comments people are in quite an uproar. It would behoove you to get your head out of your ass and give this dog back to the sitter. Who is running this place anyway, a bunch of unfeeling morons?


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