JoAnna Lou
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Tornado Dog Adopted Too Soon
A lost pup found a new home before his family could find him

Imagine coming home to find your home destroyed by a tornado and your beloved dog missing. That is the reality that the Robinson family went through in Mellott, Indiana last month. Except when they finally found their pup Rosco, he had been adopted by a new family who refused to give him back.

After the twister, Rosco ended up at the Clinton County Humane Society, about 45 miles from home. The Robinsons' neighbor posted the 3-year old Boxer's photo online, but by the time a shelter volunteer recognized Rosco's photo on Facebook, the pup had been adopted.

Clinton County Humane Society director, Jim Tate, contacted the Robinsons to explain that Rosco was fine, but had found a new home after the shelter's five day waiting period. According to Jim, once an adoption takes place, the shelter has no authority to return the animal to the original family.

Shelter officials did serve as mediators to try and get both parties to reach an agreement, but the new family bonded with Rosco and did not want to return him. The Robinsons ended up hiring a lawyer, but fortunately the adoptive family caved into media and social pressure and returned Rosco.

"I could have dealt with my house being gone 100 percent," says Rosco's mom, Kyla Robinson, "but having a family member be gone when we got back was the hardest." The Robinsons are thrilled to have Rosco home.

I can't imagine being in this situation, but am glad that Rosco is back home with the Robinsons. I do hope they've learned that leaving Rosco tied outside while they're not home isn't a good idea. This story also highlights the importance of microchipping your pet, a small step that will go a long way in an emergency.

JoAnna Lou is a New York City-based researcher, writer and agility enthusiast.

Photo by Kelly Wilkinson/The Star.

CommentsPost a Comment
Please note comments are moderated. After being approved your comment will appear below.
Submitted by kathy | December 22 2013 |

I totally agree regarding the tethering of dogs. they should never be allowed to be tied outside, except for a few moments, to go to the bathroom. I hope that they keep the dog inside from now on. and if they
left the area because of the tornado warnings and left the dog to fend for himself, I don't feel that he should have been returned to them.

Submitted by warren | December 23 2013 |

How in God's name does this woman refer to Rosco as a family member but leave him tied outside. Maybe she should be tied outside for the day. People like this do not deserve to own a dog. We have three a Rottweiler, a lab mix (we rescued) and a pure white Australian shepherd/ perines mix (also we rescued). They ALL live inside. They are FAMILY

Submitted by Nancy | December 26 2013 |

I agree with the tethering. If the dog was left to fend for itself the new family should be able to keep it. Mine are family and live inside with their pack. I hate dogs living outside, even worse if they are chained/tied.

Submitted by stephen | December 28 2013 |

Lost property is not finder's keepers. He should have been returned asap. Doesn't say if the dog was chipped... The microchip proves ownership.

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