Wednesday, November 01, 2006

We Got A Response

This response from the "humane" society was forewarded to me earlier today. I figured I would post it for all to read.

I promise, though, I do have some stories to tell that I will post tomorrow.

Thank you all for your support, and I will continue to update you on Tucker when I receive more information.


Thank you for your email and your concerns. Although the HSBC cannot comment on the details of the case due to potential litigation, I don't believe taht the details in your email are entirely accurate.

Generally speaking, as an open admission shelter receiving 7,000 animals a year, the HSBC makes every effort to balance three competing masters: our desire to find a good home for an animal, the law, and limited space. Animals that are permitted to stray without identification, license, microchip, have no lost report filed, or get no personal visit to the shelter to look for the lost pet during the 48 hour legal holding period face the very real possibility of adoption, or worse, euthanasia as soon as the legal holding period has ended for most of the year at our shelter. Pennsylvania law is quite clear about the obligations of both shelters and pet owners. Owners who allow their pets to stray without fulfilling their obligations, both under the law and ethically to their pets, place their own animals and every other animal at our shelter in peril through their own irresponsibility.

The HSBC is works with all parties to ensure that everyone's rights and obligations are fulfilled under the law: the animal, the adopter, and the person who may or may not have originally owned an adopted pet. Ultimately, if a fraction of the effort that goes into arguing about the disposition of a lost pet went into the simple act of providing a license or microchip for a pet, these cases would rarely, if ever, occur. I am certain from your heartfelt email that if your old dog ran away you would not let it do so with no license, ID, microchip, or without notifying the local shelter(s) for several days, as some people choose to do. Nor would I. Thank you again for you email and best wishes.

Karel I. Minor
Executive Director
Humane Society of Berks County
Berks County's Leader In Animal Welfare
1801 N. 11th Street
Reading, PA 19604
Phone: 610-921-2348 ext. 10
Fax: 610-921-5833Email:


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did she have tags on her dog?

3:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's the link to all of the staff emails and phone numbers:

3:58 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

What an asshole! (Excuse my language) I've worked for an animal shelter (no-kill shelter, not the "humane" society) and their actions are completely inexcusable. To blame it on the owner when by all accounts, she did everything she could to get her dog back, is just a jerk move. These people obviously aren't working for the sake of the animal...

5:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That Bitch! She is basically saying that Jo is a bad parent because she didn't tag her dog.

I wrote an e-mail to the humane society and received a responce stating that they couldn't discuss it. I don't want to discuss it, I want you to give the damn dog back!

5:14 PM  
Blogger Thy said...

but didnt she verify that it was her dog?

6:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

EERRRR!!! "a dog that may or nay not have been tagged"
scan the goddamn the to find the microchip and then you'll see your error.
This email makes me want to curse. I'm emailing that bitch again.

** Please excuse my language

6:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Honestly it doesn't look like any of the parties are behaving well here. The original owner should have notified the local shelters far earlier than 3 days after it went missing (knowing that lost pets can be euthanized if unclaimed, I would never wait longer than 24 hours). The shelter should have come clean about what happened to her animal sooner. And the new "owners," quite frankly, I'm appalled that somebody would keep an animal in such a situation: anybody who really cares about the welfare of a pet would give it back (assuming these people are truly aware of the situation, I suppose it's possible that the shelter hasn't really told them what's going on).


6:28 PM  
Blogger SkippyMom said...

Notice she doesn't confirm the waiting period for adoption/euthanizing for dog's brought into a PA shelter?

Nice how she is blaming Jo. Nice. It was completely obvious Tucker belonged to someone - I agree with what someone wrote earlier...that someone at the shelter gave/sold Tucker to a friend or relative....the dog was obvious a real "find" and now they can't admit it and get the dog back due to being exposed.

Please keep us posted [we know you will]
hugs to Jo

6:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you sure this email came from her?
I ask because the response I recieved was obviously painstakenly crafted, and in this letter there are a few errors with tense, grammar ect. . .

7:03 PM  
Blogger SkippyMom said...

I posted the story [and a link here] on in the Washington DC area [since I live there] in the Pets section - I hope this helps!

Bless you all!


7:06 PM  
Blogger SkippyMom said...

Minor is implying that Jo didn't microchip, nor did she notify the shelter for DAYS -

I obviously believe you and Jo - how does she have the temerity to BOLD FACE LIE about this [Minor]...

Just curious....what do you think Waitress?

7:39 PM  
Anonymous gypsy_jo said...

see my comments in the post under this one! I cant keep up! BTW, tuck had a collar, he got it caught on the fence when he jumped. my lawyer has it now.
and Karel Minor is a HE not a she, but a bitch none the less in my opinion (LOL)

7:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, Jo should have tagged the dog.

It is that simple.

It's too bad this has gotten so inflammatory but what allowed this thing to play out this way was no ID on the animal!

Sounds like the kind of person that let's her dog off leash and when it is charging you, says, "oh don't worry, he's friendly" and then Mr. Friendly proceeds to cover you with mud and slobber while she calls out ineffectively from 40 yards away for dear ol Tucky to get down...

10:16 PM  
Anonymous gypsy_jo said...

he IS friendly Joey, I mean anonymous! you know damn well he is! HE DID HAVE A COLLAR ON (with two tags on it), but having a high fence, we dont make them tight, to insure they dont get hung up on the fences.

sorry I dont keep my animals in cages for their whole life, like my dear neighbors do with their large arthriticly pained dog and the daughters pitt bull (who has charged me on MY property, but I didnt complain or send letters because there was NO INJURY sustained). never mind how their dogs always chased my girls to and from the bus stop, on a daily basis.
and as for LOCAL shelter, I DID CALL. I called the local SPCA, which is 8 miles away, and I might add that when I finally found out that Tuck had been taken to BCHS, and the lies that ensued, it was the SPCA who advised me to get an attorney.
yes, he had been there (bchs) for the standard 48 hours, and YES I called them on monday 10/16 at 9 a.m. I left a very detailed message on their lost animal recorder. they sold, I mean adopted Tuck out AFTER they were notified.nothing you can say will change that fact. THEY WERE NOTIFIED BEFOR THE ADOPTION. end of story.


7:16 AM  
Anonymous Kiz said...

There's no sense getting too worked up. This particular response is crafted specifically to avoid any legal issues, so it's essentially meaningless.

Notice that he mentions zero specifics about this particular case, and makes vague generalizations about the issues that come up with regards to missing pets and the humane society. So, while the -implication- is that Jo didn't tag her dog (factually incorrect), and that Jo failed to contact the humane society prior to adoption (also factually incorrect), this letter doesn't explicitly -say- anything false.

That being said, it's supporting my theory that they're lying to cover up previous lies and mistakes, and by now are in over their head. I hope this gets resolved very soon. K

9:43 AM  
Blogger Wide Lawns Subservient Worker said...

You know who is really wrong here? I think its the people who adopted the dog and won't give it back. Any kind, good person would immediately understand the suffering of the family who lost their dog and return it. So what if you lose the 50$ you spent to adopt it? In a few days they couldnt possibly be as attached to the dog as its family who has cared for the dog for 3 years. I can not imagine being so mean and selfish as to keep these people's dog. The best solution would have been for the adopters to kindly return the dog. I imagine everyone becoming friends, understanding, and then Tucker's family helping them find a similar dog for themselves from the same place where they got Tucker from. Then I imagine them becoming lifelong friends, visiting, letting the dogs play and bonding over the misunderstanding - believing that it was fate that brought them together to provide them an opportunity for compassion, generosity and friendship, instead of a messy lawsuit, bitterness, sorrow and hurt feelings. Maybe Im a big Pollyanna, but I think my way would have worked a lot better. Shame on these people for declining the chance to do a good and selfless deed, which would ultimately have rewarded them far more than this nonsense.

9:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have had TWO dogs choke themselves to death on their collars.

The first time the dog was playing w/ our other dog in the yard, got the other dogs leg caught in the collar, it twisted. Strangled her before we were able to get out there and get it undone.

We all figured it was a freak accident.

Second dog got a branch caught in it's collar, twisted and strangled.

After that we stopped putting collars on our dogs. We had them in a fenced in yard, watched them when they went outside.

Sounds like she was being smart & safe by having the collar on loose!

11:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

IMO that email was simply are poorly vailed jab at Jo and her animals. Minor just makes himeslf out to be a duech and a half. Hes just damn lucky your a nice person, if he did this to someone not so nice (IE me) both him and March would be in a world of hurt...

12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahh good old Reading, PA. Always looking to avoid fault. So glad I moved out of there 7 yrs ago. Florida has never looked so good...

Keep pushing Jo! They'll back down, they always do!

7:25 PM  
Blogger 00goddess said...

Hey, i still have not heard from Jo. The older this story gets the less likely it is that media will pick it up and give it attention. I can get at least one media outlet to publish a story on it if it comes from me, so Gypsy Jo, please email me at reptilegrrl at 00goddess dot net.

7:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This sounds typical of any organization, they lose track of what is best for the individual and work hard to protect their own back when a mistake is uncovered. In my experience, the biggest trick used to turn the tables is to blame the victim. Followed by lies and more cover up to, in their minds, make the problem non-existent.

It could be the person that wrote the e-mail was once a nice, caring person, who truly loved his job and wanted to help any animals that came into his care via the shelter. But now he has his boss's boss on his back, and has lost sight of what is right. I've seen this happen so many times in different organizations, be it religious, non-profit, corporate, anything that involves a mass of people.

I've heard somewhere, "A person is smart, people are stupid."

I hate stupid people. :)

8:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If they knew -- and they ought to have known, given that you had phoned and asked -- that the dog was yours but adopted it out anyway...

Report it stolen. Doesn't matter if they think you're a responsible owner or not, that is something a judge must decide, not the animal shelter. (Particularly as it is not reasonable to believe that no animal will ever slip its collar, and simply irrational to claim that it's irresponsible to not have one's pet microchipped if the law does not require it.)

11:27 PM  
Blogger Film Aficionado said...

So how much are you getting paid to put that silly "Tahoe Vacation Rentals" ad on your blog? Don't tell me that you are selling out.

2:12 AM  
Blogger SkippyMom said...

We have [on our two dachshunds] break away collars - after too intense pressure or twisting they pop off - for the same reason Jo had Tucker's on loose. You do not want the dog to choke on their own collar.

Our pups could never hope to jump a fence - but if you have ever had to rescue a "short dog caught under a piece of furniture [where they have gotten themselves caught on their collar] you will know exactly what caring and loving dog owners we [and Jo] are.

To blame Jo for this is absurd.

7:12 AM  
Anonymous gypsy_jo said...

Reading is a scum pit! I certainly would never allow either of my kids to go there without their Daddy, and ones almost 21 years old! the BCHS is on 11th street, and theres about 2 shootings a month on that section of street alone. my worst fear is that Tucker is being kept IN CITY... which breaks my heart. I look out at the huge yard and pasture and wonder if he's thinking about us & home....
a border was hit and killed on the highway about a 1/2 mile away from my home, and I called my lawyer to verify that it was NOT Tuck (via him calling bchs & them calling cretins)... ALl i could think of was he might have been trying to come home... Thank god it wasnt him.

I'm not sure who it was that asked for me to contact them about media stuff, but anyone can IM me on yahoo or go to my 360* page

theres even a picture of Tucker and Big Daddy and "Boomer", Tuckers 3rd son.

thank you thank you thank you thank you! I cant say it enough so XOXOXO will have to suffice, kiss your critters one and all, and pet your kids from Aunt Jo


7:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Several points:

1. You can get collars that will separate when under stress, like caught on a fence or branch. That way you can keep the tags on the animal in most cases and greatly reduce things like this from happening. I have these collars on my cats.

2. You can micro chip the animal. This is commonly available these days. And for valuable or highly desirable breeds, it should be a no-brainer.

3. You can stop trying to whip a whole bunch of random people into a frenzy. I've talked this over in the real world, not this virtual flame fest, and the conclusion people I've talked with come to is to arrange the blame like this:

First place: dog owner for not ensuring animal has been appropriately Id'd at all times (see 1&2 above).

Second place: Current 'owners' for being selfish a-holes about this.

Third place: Animal shelter. They are saddled with enough trying to stem the insane tide of lost and unwanted animals created by the millions of irresponsible pet owners who do not spay, neuter, or keep control of their animals.

Animal lovers should be GLAD they are out there trying to pick up the pieces from the massive pet overpopulation we have in this country. The fact that they are being guarded and bureaucratic is precisely because there are wack job animal lovers out there who jump to conclusions, send stories all over the net, and try to foment all kinds of negativity at them. I can't blame them for what they do and how they are dealing with this.

8:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last poster - thanks. Fianlly, someone who isn't foaming at the motuh about this. Fact is, it's the OWNER's reponsibility to handle ALL of these issues.

To all the rest of you - the facts you've been given are anything but (of course, on the internet, "fact" is often a naughty word.) If/when you actually get the full story, I hope the crow is nice and tasty.

Finally, I almost hope the new owners give her her dog back (if it is even her dog.) I believe the penalty for not licensing one's dog in Pennsylvania runs to the tune of $300 per day. I'm playing the violin for her, and all the other irresponsible dog owners, as we speak.

2:36 PM  
Blogger i'llnevertell! said...

ATTN: This comment was written by Tacoma, but i accidentally pushed the wrong button when publishing it and deleted it, Tacoma, please write it again for us if you don't mind. Thanks! Waitres

There is a reason Anonymous posters are anonymous-because they're trolls.
And those last two sem to have a grudge against irresponsible pet owners, so they take it out on RESPONSIBLE PET OWNERS like Gypsy. From everything she writes she was responsible, and since you don't know her, you can't make any other assumption. Good job Anonymous. Hope you keep your dogs in your arms at all times, beacuse NOBODY will ever have sympathy for you if anything happened that you lash out at others for.


5:04 PM  
Anonymous gypsy_jo said...

gee, doesnt it sound as though the anonymous poster knows each and every law & penalty for animals in Berks county? almost as though he/she might be contracted with the county....

I'm sure they will give me a hard time in the not so distant future. And you can bet I will turn each and every BS accusation over to my lawyer (in the future, AFTER case is decided by a JUDGE not some flunky). harrassment isnt that unusual for these types.

play on dude, I cant wait to watch your dread locks swing while you dance to the unemployment line. and EATING crow isnt very humane, especially if the crow isnt willing.
btw, how can such a good looking guy be such a dick?

grow some balls and sign your name if you are so sure of yourself, seriously, I havent hid yet, why are you? MEOW :P


6:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heh. I'm not him, and I'm not affiliated, just amused. Define libel.

You might want to hire a new attorney, because if yours didn't tell you going all nuts on the internet and calling people bad names was a lousy way to back up a frivolous lawsuit, then you may want to check his credentials.

10:38 PM  
Anonymous Eireann said...

My heart is really breaking for Jo and her family. I don't know what I'd do if one of my pets went missing and the adoptive family refused to return them.

Animals jump fences and get out of collars. This isn't new and any animal shelter should have better ways of dealing with this kind of a situation. I have my cat microchipped because putting a collar on him is dangerous, because he was born feral and will do anything to get the collar off. The dog isn't, but I think we'll be taking her in to be chipped very soon.

I hope that it turns out that the adoptive family was never made aware of the situation. I know that I couldn't keep an animal, with the knowledge that it's original family is out there, heartbroken, because they want their baby back.

I'll be saying some prayers that Tucker is returned and that this whole situation works out for the best.

11:20 AM  
Anonymous Jenn said...

I'm so sorry about your dog. But please understand, humane societies have to deal with some very irresponsible people. When you come in looking for a dog that escaped from your yard and had no identification, you unfortunately appear to be one of those. The law varies from state to state, but it sounds like they followed the law exactly. It's your responsibility to make sure your animal is not in their shelter, not theirs to figure out who you are. You did not go in to the shelter right away to check for your dog, something that all owners of missing dogs should do (and which according to the posted story, the shelter employee welcomed you to do).

So now, you have no legal standing and the shelter has no ability to get your dog back from the new legal owners. I would guess they would like to do so just to have you reunited; shelter workers are not ogres!! However, the new adoptive family may not *want* to give back a dog that escaped from its yard with no identification, reasoning that they can provide a safer and more responsible home. (This may have been a completely freak accident that all these things happened at the same time in this case, but in most cases, it does point to an owner who does not properly care for her animal.)

This really points to the need to have your pet properly identified and to check with multiple shelters within 48 hours if it is missing. This site has some good information about locating missing pets:

Again, I'm so sorry this happened, especially if you are the wonderful dog owner you say you are. It's sad but it doesn't appear to be the shelter's fault or the new owner's fault.

8:32 PM  
Anonymous Tracy said...

Waitress, any update on poor Tucker? I know others have chastised this owner for a multitude of reasons. I really don't think she was a "bad" owner in any way.

For the record, there are a lot of reasons not to leave a collar on a dog 24/7. Safety is one (my friend's dog hanged himself on a fence with his collar!). Training is another, there are some schools of thought that say collars should be used during training and walks, and that's about it.

Just wondering what's new about this poor doggie!

12:58 AM  
Anonymous gypsy_jo said...

one thing has NOT changed, they were NOTIFIED and knew prior to the adoption that that particular dog was indeed owned by my family. they chose to ignore that. and again, I will ask, WHO LOOKS 20 miles away for a dog that was lost far from that city? I admit I did not call them until monday following his escape. but the fact is that they WERE notified prior to the adoption.
DICK was an acronym for Disreguards Information Consistantly, so I added a "K" for good measure...I'm sure it will get brought up in court. I said a bad word, I didnt LIE or omit the truth. I am still permitted to have an opinion. I could stand on their sidewalk with a sandwhich board slung over my shoulders denouncing this institution and there would be absalutely nothing they could do about it, but I havent...YET.
rightious indignation wont win anything, I know, but I have tried being nice and it got me nowhere, I've acted in good faith when they have not, whats more, I can PROVE it in a court of law.

ok, I'm sick of monopolizing waitres' blog, I need a funny club story... waitress? can we laugh soon, please?
hugs waitress!


8:57 AM  
Anonymous peaches said...

First of all, Jo -- I am sorry for your loss. However, this reminds me soooo much of an incident at school many years back:

Students used to park in the neighboring apartment complex lot, taking up apartment rentor's ability to park there. The apartment complex finally sent notice to the school, who put flyers in all of the students' boxes warning them not to park there or they would be towed. Also, the apartment complex put up signs in all of its parking spaces warning of the tow policy.

Students still parked there. One got towed.

She then passed around a collection for her towing and impound fees, pleading that the rules and spaces were not clear, and that "it could have been any one of us who got towed."

Now, I did not donate. Yes, I felt for her. But it could not have been "any one of us" -- I clearly saw the signs and parked down the street. As did many others.

Moral of the story: It is the responsability of the pet owner to keep his/her animal safe, on his/her own property, and properly identified. Yes, escapes happen. But microchips are not expensive. If you own the microchip -- you own the dog. AND you can prove it.

Now, for a last aside -- I think 48 hours is an unrealistic holding time, especially on weekends when owners may be out of town. That's just crappy luck for Jo. Perhaps if more pet owners donated time and space (ie foster home services) to the shelter, it could extend this.

Please folks -- microchip.

No, I don't own stock in the company. But maybe I should.

1:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I have a quick, unrelated, question. My boyfriend and I went to a strip club last night and got lapdances/couchdances. They were $20 each and we tipped and extra $10 each over that. Was that enough? was that too much?

Thank you!

PS - We had a great time, all the strippers were super nice.

3:09 PM  
Blogger i'llnevertell! said...

Dear Anon,

My girls are going to hate me for this, but I don't really see the point in tipping for lap dances. Here's the thing, the lap dance itself is twenty dollars. You shouldn't feel like you have to give them any more than that. Now, if you got a really really good lap dance and you were really happy with the dancer, then by all means, tip her more or buy another lap dance.

I'm glad you had a good time at the strip club, they can be a lot of fun. Sometimes!


4:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

(Anon because I'm not properly awake & have no ID here yet.)

1. Nobody seems to bloody care that microchips might be cheap, but that the process carries risks to the animal. Unless it's required by law in your is irresponsible to automatically subject your pets to the proceedure. You should make sure you are aware of the risks to your pet...and if the local shelter and/or vets can & do check for microchips. (If the answer to one of those last two is no, getting your pet chipped is about as responsible as sharing needles.)

2. Having not had the collar so it would come off if caught on the fence is irresponsible, much more so than failing to have ID on your animal.

3. If you have done everything the law requires, you are a responsible pet owner. The Humane Society is not the ones who get to decide that you are not responsible.

4. *sigh* I thought most people knew this, but... If you pick up a stray that looks to be a lost pet, and the nearest shelter is a pretty good distance away, such as in a case like this where it is in another city a good distance away...

You're supposed to take the stray to the nearest vet--not to the animal shelter.

Lost/escaped pets rarely venture particularly far from their home, and are usually very stressed & distressed by being lost away from home. (I spent a while last night trying to calm someone's lost pet which had been lost in unfamiliar territory; I was very worried that the poor thing was hurt because of how distressed it was...)

12:35 AM  
Anonymous Jenn said...

Last anon - what????

1. What risks exist from putting in a microchip? Please let us know of studies, information - hell, even an anecdote would do. Even risk of infection would be minimal, especially if you kept an eye on your pet to check for any health problems.

2. Most dogs do not get themselves caught on fences. This is more common with cats. It's been mentioned that if you have issues with this, you can get flexible collars. My dog wears a harness.

3. The law in most states requires humane societies to hold for three days, sometimes less. Laws vary depending on whether the dog appears to be owned (ie, has a collar, has a microchip even if the contact info is no longer valid). It's the pet owner's responsibility to check neighboring shelters.

4. Who came up with this rule? What vet office is going to welcome a stray animal? In my area, the vet offices tell you to take it to the shelter or, if it's after hours, call the police. I can't say I know for sure that in other areas this wouldn't be the case, but vet offices don't exist to handle stray animals - SHELTERS DO.

This is a really tragic thing, but the shelter followed the law and followed their own guidelines, the pet was adopted by someone else who has legal right to it, and won't give it back. Maybe this will encourage people to be more careful with putting ID on their pets and keeping better track of them.

1:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sometimes life just isn't fair and crummy things happen to people (and their pets) who don't deserve it.

1:59 PM  
Anonymous gypsy_Jo said...

actually, the anon. person is right, where I live, its the custom, not so much the law, to take a stray animal to any of the local vetinary offices. and because this is the boonies, we dont have a local police dept. but the next township over DOES and that was one of the first places we checked for Tucker, in addition to the vets. Tucker had a gleaming well groomed coat, was physicly fit& well fed.Every indication that this is an animal that is owned and loved by some one.
I'm so tired of explaining this over and over, so this is the last time, K?



done until this suit is, on this issue.

have a nice day

6:53 PM  
Anonymous Akatsukami said...

"If you have done everything the law requires, you are a responsible pet owner."

No, you are not. People who equate "legal" with "responsible" (or "moral", I might add) are generally the first to whine about how the law is interfering with their rights if and when it does require them to behave responsibly.

12:43 PM  

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