so this morning...

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so this morning...

Postby Amie » Sat Mar 12, 2011 9:19 am

a volunteer was out walking one of our dogs.

a guy walks up, says "thats my dog" and Takes. Him.


WTF??????
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Re: so this morning...

Postby trexgorawrrrrr » Sat Mar 12, 2011 10:33 am

That's NOT okay... so, this volunteer just gave the dog to him? I would have said, sorry... I'm walking this animal for the BARCS animal shelter, if it's yours come to the shelter to get the dog.

If anything they could have easily walked back to the shelter with the volunteer/animal together to figure out what to do to get the dog back, right?

I hope it wasn't just some lunatic taking the dog...
Is the volunteer still allowed to volunteer? I mean what do you guys do in a situation like that?
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Re: so this morning...

Postby ilovetyson » Sat Mar 12, 2011 10:53 am

Wow, I wouldn't have allowed the guy to take the dog.. I woulda had him follow me to the shelter.. wtf
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Re: so this morning...

Postby April » Sat Mar 12, 2011 11:00 am

Was the volunteer frequent? Seems fishy to me.
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Re: so this morning...

Postby Madeleinemom » Sat Mar 12, 2011 11:44 am

If I am the volunteer, you'd have to threaten me with bodily harm, before I'd turn over the dog ...

Were the police called?
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Re: so this morning...

Postby heartbullies » Sat Mar 12, 2011 12:57 pm

Yup. A volunteer once gave away a dog to someone who wanted him. The dog, a pit bull, hadn't been neutered yet, had no Rabies vaccine, and had no microchip. Just....... gone. Along with one volunteer who let a dog run off-leash illegally and against the rules, and someone snatched the dog. Another who unlocked a kennel for an owner to see his dog still in stray hold, so the owner just picked up his dog from the kennel and marched out. When I worked nights, people broke into the shelter while I was there and stole a litter of pit bull puppies from the back kennels; it was kinda scary to be in the building alone and have them coming in through the windows; if it makes you feel better, we got all the puppies back, unscathed.

Two shelters I've worked at had exercise/play/walk areas only on their property or around their block for just this reason; it reduces people snatching dogs, and prevents/reminds volunteers not to just hand dogs over to the public.

I hope that either the dog comes back to you guys to do a good adoption, or that the person who took the dog will be a responsible owner from now on and take good care of his dog.

People. Are. Crazy.
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Re: so this morning...

Postby buckaroo » Sat Mar 12, 2011 1:04 pm

Number one reason why volunteers aren't allowed to be out of sight of kennel staff while walking dogs. This happens a lot.
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Re: so this morning...

Postby Amie » Sat Mar 12, 2011 5:12 pm

Interesting! I'm surprised by the apparent assumptions that the volunteer just handed the dog over. I don't know many details (I had a hard time getting a consistent answer from the several people I spoke to) but I never assumed that the volunteer hadn't done what she could to keep the dog in her control. Nor do I think she should have done more. Try to take my dogs from me, and yeah, you'd better be prepared to do some damage because you're only getting them over my cold, dead body. But to ask a volunteer to put herself at risk for a shelter dog? No. I won't do that, and I'm shocked that some of you think we should. (for the record, one of my coworkers felt that we should as well)


The police were called, by the way, and the dog is back at the shelter. I don't know much more than that. It was a shocking and extremely difficult day, not just because of this incident, so I didn't have a chance to chase down details.

buckaroo wrote:Number one reason why volunteers aren't allowed to be out of sight of kennel staff while walking dogs. This happens a lot.

That may be a reasonable rule in a smaller, better funded shelter, but with two hundred dogs, two hundred cats, and eight employees caring for them, it's just not possible. Dogs wouldn't get out at all.
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Re: so this morning...

Postby buckaroo » Sat Mar 12, 2011 11:22 pm

Many of ours don't get outside until they hit the euth room after 7 days. It's pretty awful. The lucky ones get out once or twice every few days. And the cages are the size of crates. Our facility is terrible.
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Re: so this morning...

Postby Beowulf » Sun Mar 13, 2011 8:04 am

I visited our shelter on Friday and witnessed a tiny, not-more-than-20 volunteer walking a great dane and a rottweiler outside on the front lawn. Together! I could have knocked her down and taken the dogs if I had have wanted to. I guess the bottom line is that everyone is doing the best they can with what they have.

I'm glad the dog is back in the shelter but I feel bad for the volunteer. I do NOT think they should be expected to put their life on the line for a dog they don't know that well.

Giant hugs to you Amie and thanks for all you do for the animals. It takes a special kind of person to do what you do.
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Re: so this morning...

Postby PitBull-Lady » Sun Mar 13, 2011 8:42 am

I read your original post and thought, oh that must have been so scary. From what I know of your shelter and where the dogs 'often' come from... I thought immediately of their safety.

That's too bad that other people have had volunteers that would 'give' away a dog. I could not imagine the dispointment.
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Re: so this morning...

Postby luvnstuff » Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:10 am

Man.. that is so wierd.. maybe you can have a buddy system for wierdos are less prone to approach two people walking , but know the numbers of volunteers usually is a major player in thoughts like that. Never enough.
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Re: so this morning...

Postby Amie » Tue Mar 15, 2011 7:27 am

Alright, I got more details. It WAS the guy's dog. The dog had been at the shelter for a while, and he called looking for him, but never got a call back (we likely didn't make the connection - it's just a red pit bull, not really many distinct markings, and the people in front never come to the back, and the people in back never get the calls - bad system, which is why we usually ask people to come in rather than trust the phone)

The guy was at the shelter with some puppies because it was a vaccine day ($6 rabies). He saw the volunteer (who had forgotten her name badge) walking the dog, said "hey, that's my dog" and reached down and unclipped the dog's leash. The volunteer said no, it was her dog (not an accurate response, though I understand the feeling behind it) and ran to the shelter. An employee went out, talked to the guy, talked him into basically adopting his own dog back rather than paying boarding fees, and the guy agreed to that. So the dog has been neutered (yeah, those were his pups) and sent home to his real owners.

Messy situation with lots of minor mistakes adding into something that could have been horrible, but turned out okay.
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Re: so this morning...

Postby tbluverjumper » Wed Mar 16, 2011 6:42 pm

That's a tough situation. We're fortunate to have the room on our own property for the dogs to be walked. The volunteers are not allowed near the dogs in sick bay or the ones in receiving for similar reasons, too many issues with that. They only have contact with the dogs on the adoption floor and they go through 4 different classes before they are certified to volunteer. Same with the kitties, though I think the kitties are 3 classes.

Where the dogs are walked also has no access to the public so that helps a lot. Only people allowed in that back area are staff and volunteers. Do you guys have any sort of training for the volunteers?
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Re: so this morning...

Postby Rachael » Wed Mar 23, 2011 9:03 pm

Whew! :eek: That was a scary day, Amie. I would have to say that I agree with the idea of instituting the buddy system. You just never know when that type of thing might happen - and a volunteer shouldn't have to worry about their safety. A person would think twice about taking a dog from 2 people.

Glad it all turned out ok.
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