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I have a pretty heartbreaking story to share, so be warned.

A family in my area has been posting about this all over social media this week and I feel like there's an important lesson that can be learned from this.

Short version:
Family has a dog and kids. The parents split up, mum taking the dog and shared custody of the kids.

A while later (no idea how long...) the mom surrenders the dog to the local humane society. She does this without telling the father, or asking if he'd have taken the dog.

A while later (no idea how long after the dogs was surrendered, since she won't disclose the date she gave the dog up to her x) one of the kids calls dad and tells him the mom surrendered the dog. The dad is shocked and heartbroken, as are the kids, since they all loved this dog and the dad would have definitely taken him had he known his x was giving the dog up.

He starts frantically calling all the rescues in the area, since his x won't tell him where she gave up the dog, or when.

It comes out, due to a staff member of the humane society who won't go public but did want to share some info, that the dog WAS at the humane society.

This is when the dad starts posting around asking if anyone has information. He calls the humane society and they tell him the dog was there, but won't give him any more info - even to tell if the dog is still there.

This is when it gets a bit weird. The dad starts wondering how someone could surrender HIS dog without him being there. It turns out that his x had the dog microchipped at some point, and put only her name on the chip. The humane society will accept that as 'proof of ownership', so as far as they were concerned the dog was legally surrendered. The fact that the dad has the registration papers from the city, vet records, many pictures of himself and the kids with the dog...doesn't matter. Because of the nondisclosure form the x signed at surrender they refuse to share any info.

So, at this point the family is trying everything they can do to see what happened to their dog. No one knows when he was surrendered, if he was adopted out...there's a rumor (from another staff member who can't speak out due to nondisclosure agreements staff have to sign to work at the humane society) that the dog was euthanized...but the likely timeline suggests this would have been done before a 3 day holding period was up and any real behavioral assessment would have been possible.

*sigh* it's awful and I feel terrible for the family. Not knowing if he's safe with a new family, or if he was PTS... :(

It made me think and then go check. I didn't even consider any issues like this when I registered Jitzu's chip (the other cats will be chipped next time they need to be anesthetized) - only my name is on it. I'm going to call and make sure my SO gets put on her chip, as well as having him added to all the cat's vet records.

If anything happened to me the clinic wouldn't be able to give my SO the records! It's so important to keep this info up to date, and to make sure all adults in the household are listed as 'owners'. It's a sad fact that legally our pets are considered 'property', and that means we have to make sure they'll be safe and well cared for no matter what.
 

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Hmm, this makes me think that I should put those numbers in my will along with the cat's names..... perhaps even a picture of each one (although really, to most people black cats all look the same) just in case....

That way the next of kin would have a way of proof of the passing of ownership.....
 

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Oh Becky,
That is so sad...But it does Bring up a VERY Important point...
I also need to check the info on my cats and dogs now...
Thank you for the reminder, of how Important this is!!

My heart goes out to the Dad and kids...
May Karma deal justly with the ex...
Sharon
 

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this is a unspeakable thing to do. It'd be like giving up one of my kids. I can't even imagine how horrible the father feels.
This woman should be ashamed of herself!
 
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