Author Topic: I can see this becoming an issue-help me be polite, its gonna be tough Pics #40  (Read 20942 times)

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LadyMisha

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Hi gang,

Y'all might remember, we had a stray show up in our yard 2 weeks after our beloved English Bully passed away.  After a weekend of seeing no missing dog fliers, we took him to our vet.  He had heartworms, whipworms and hookworms, along with nails that were so long only the major footpad touched the ground, none of the toepads, a really badly bleeding open sore on his tail that sprayed/slung blood everywhere when he wagged his tail and he was completely emaciated for his dog type (pit bull/rottweiler mix) weighing in at 40 lbs. 

After we took him to the vet, we did a lot of soul searching.  Did we want to take on this dog, knowing his medical issues.  In reasoning it out, this dog has the temperament of a Golden Retriever (would rather be loved on than eat) and quite honestly came to the conclusion that maybe the reason he had come into our lives 2 weeks to the day that we'd lost our baby Tinky (short for Tinkerbell - I know, weird name for an English Bulldog!) was that she'd had cancer and was beginning to suffer and God decided that instead of making her suffer, he would provide us with someone else who really needed love and a chance for a good home.  So, with that in our minds/hearts, we made the decision to make the commitment and keep Rocky for our own.

The next day, while my DD was walking him, one of the neighborhood kids came up to her and told her that was so and so's dog from 2 streets over.  She called and told us about it, filling us in on how the kid said they never paid the dog any attention and that he'd been kept in a 4 x 6 foot kennel for the past three years, no matter what the weather was like.  Given that information and his other health problems (our vet said that without treatment, he was about a week away from death from the worms), we decided there was no way in Hades they were getting that dog back to continue to mistreat him.  I called Animal Control and he told me to take him to the pound and put down the adoption fee right when we turned him in.  That way, the only people who could come and get him would be the owners, and since he had no current shots, heartworms, whipworms, hookworms, no license, had been running loose and many other various and sundry fines, they would be unlikely to even try to get him.  He was correct and we adopted our baby boy from the pound.  They also neutered him, offered us heartworm treatment at cost and microchipped him to us.  He is wholly and legally ours.

Which leads me to our current situation.  Rocky is not trustworthy off-leash.  He LOVES nothing more than to run.  So, for potty times, we take him out and leash walk him in our yard.  I was walking Precious (yet another of our adoptions :) ) and DH was walking Rocky.  I heard a group of about 4 boys walking across the street and staring in amazement, saying, Hey, that's Rocky!  After listening to them for a few minutes, I confirmed that yes, that was Rocky.  One of the kids said, that's HIS dog!  I calmly answered them, no, he is our dog, we adopted him from the pound.  The boy who used to have him asked how we could have adopted his dog and I told him that we'd legally adopted him from the pound and got him medical attention for his heartworms, whipworms and hookworms.  I told him that the vet had said he was about a week away from dying when we brought him in and got him started on treatment.  He then remarked on how big he was.  I told him yes, when we found him he was only 40 pounds.  He's now the ideal weight for his bone size and weighs about 65 pounds now.  He then asked if he could come and pet him.  I told him he was welcome to come and see him anytime he wanted, as long as either me or my husband was home. 

My etiquette question - how do I handle it when his parents (and I'm sure he's going to tell them all about this rendezvous) come over and question us.  What I totally want to say is neither etiquette approved nor is it in any realm acceptable - because I'll be honest, I'm still mad that anyone would treat an animal that way.  I also don't want to start a feud with my neighbor (or any more of a feud than there has to be).  I need some politically and etiquettely (is that even a word?) answers that will hopefully prevent or diffuse a possibly tense situation.  Particularly when I know what we've spent on getting him back to a healthy state (let's just say it is well beyond hundreds and into thousands) and there is now way I am giving him up to those people who mistreated him so badly and didn't bother even looking at the pound when he had "run away" like the boy said.  Had they bothered to look, they would have seen him because they had him there for over a week with all of the medical treatments they were giving him on top of what we'd sent in from our vet.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2011, 12:19:30 PM by LadyMisha »
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SamiHami

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Re: I can see this becoming an issue - help me be polite, its gonna be tough
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2011, 07:09:43 PM »
I would also have a very difficult time being polite to someone who had abused an animal. If they have the nerve to come to your house, in your position I would be frostily polite and tell them simply that the dog is legally yours now. I would not be offering them (or their child) the opportunity to visit with Rocky.

If they pushed the issue and tried to give you any sort of grief, I would simply point out that you are the owner of this animal and that if they had any issues with that, they were welcome to contact the police to discuss it.

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Larrabee

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Re: I can see this becoming an issue - help me be polite, its gonna be tough
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2011, 07:16:47 PM »
I think its really kind of you to let the child visit, if that's how they 'care' for their dog I bet he isn't having a great time either.  :(

You just need to be firm if this comes up I'm afraid.  You are 100% in the right, you were wise to do the adoption formally and by the book.  Do you have any paperwork showing that he's yours?  Is he microchipped to you?  If yes just show them those details if there's any question of them wanting him back.

Here's to many happy years with Rocky, he had a lucky escape and he's landed on his feet, that's the most important thing!

Knitterly

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Re: I can see this becoming an issue - help me be polite, its gonna be tough
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2011, 07:18:21 PM »
I would have a tough time, but do you really think the parents are going to come over after they way they treated the dog (and they way they know you know they treated him)?  Obviously they don't miss him or want him.

I think you can be matter-of-fact and tell them (if they even approach you) that you adopted this dog, and if they try to claim him, you have all the papers to say he is yours, fair and square. 

Somehow I doubt they will try claim him back from you.

Isisnin

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Re: I can see this becoming an issue - help me be polite, its gonna be tough
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2011, 07:23:50 PM »
What wonderful thing for you to do.  Kudos.

If you hear from them, it will be hard to be polite, but it's probably a "more flies with honey" situation.  Keep it light and pleasant.

"Oh we got him from the pound."  If they keep saying that the dog is theirs:  "you need to speak to the pound about that".

I'd be surprised if they mention the medical issues.  If they do, just say that "the pound neutered and heart wormed him."  that sounds like normal procedure.  anything else they might get defensive and thus by become more difficult.

Since you're letting the boy come visit the dog (again kudos to you), it doesn't sound like the boy will campaign to get his dog back.  And sounds like the parent didn't want the dog.  You may not hear from them.  Here's hopin'!

WillyNilly

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Re: I can see this becoming an issue - help me be polite, its gonna be tough
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2011, 07:24:25 PM »
I think you should photocopy the adoption papers. And if you want, dated vet bills as well. If the come knocking just say "he was found stray, turned into the pound and we legally adopted him."
Show the the paperwork (copies so they can't snatch them and rip them up). Close the door/walk away. Repeat as necessary.

heartmug

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Re: I can see this becoming an issue - help me be polite, its gonna be tough
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2011, 07:26:07 PM »
I think you tell the parents what you told the kid:  you adopted Rocky from the pound.
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LadyMisha

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Re: I can see this becoming an issue - help me be polite, its gonna be tough
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2011, 07:31:08 PM »
I would not be offering them (or their child) the opportunity to visit with Rocky.

If they pushed the issue and tried to give you any sort of grief, I would simply point out that you are the owner of this animal and that if they had any issues with that, they were welcome to contact the police to discuss it.

Good idea on the "welcome to contact" deal.  Hadn't thought about that.

But, I'm not going to bar the kid from Rocky.  It isn't the kids fault, and you could see that he did care for him.  He spent a happy five minutes scratching him behind the ears (which Rocky absolutely adored) and kept remarking on how big he was.  We kept reiterating that he was dangerously close to dying when we'd found him - the poor kid seemed both shocked and chagrined by that.  I can't hold a boy of around 10 responsible for his crappy parents.  And as a pp pointed out, this kid might not be having such an easy time of it himself.  I'm not about to deny him something that gives both him and Rocky pleasure.
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LadyMisha

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Re: I can see this becoming an issue - help me be polite, its gonna be tough
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2011, 07:32:24 PM »
I think you should photocopy the adoption papers. And if you want, dated vet bills as well. If the come knocking just say "he was found stray, turned into the pound and we legally adopted him."
Show the the paperwork (copies so they can't snatch them and rip them up). Close the door/walk away. Repeat as necessary.

Again, another excellent idea.  I'll make copies tomorrow.  Thanks, y'all.  I knew if I came on here I'd get some help in keeping it calm and collected.  I'll be honest, I just want to punch the kids parents in the nose.   :-\
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leftout

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Re: I can see this becoming an issue - help me be polite, its gonna be tough
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2011, 07:34:00 PM »
Wow, what a tough situation. It's possible (hopefully!) the confrontation with the previous owners never comes up since they might not want to deal with a dog lover knowing that they weren't taking care of their dog appropriately. They might even be relieved that they're no longer responsible for Rocky. And part of me thinks "these people" might not want a neutered dog anyway. What a great suggestion from the obviously-caring animal control officer that you bring him in and put down the adoption fee, and it's fantastic you followed through with the completely by-the-book adoption. I'm sure it was hard walking the dog into the shelter, but you did good! You've had a practice run now with the child in explaining that yes, you've heard the dog used to belong to their family but that he was found as a stray, sick and emaciated, and that you adopted him, nursed him back to health, and he's now a part of your family. The same explanation can be used for the parents. And good work on the microchip and microchip registration in your name. With a known runner puppy, that could be key to any question over his ownership.

delphinium

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Re: I can see this becoming an issue - help me be polite, its gonna be tough
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2011, 08:08:37 PM »
Kudos to you and your husband for taking in Rocky and the other stray(s).  What a lucky dog he is.  May you have many years of enjoyment with him and your other dogs. :)

The Wild One, Forever

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Re: I can see this becoming an issue - help me be polite, its gonna be tough
« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2011, 08:14:25 PM »
I think its really kind of you to let the child visit, if that's how they 'care' for their dog I bet he isn't having a great time either.  :(

You just need to be firm if this comes up I'm afraid.  You are 100% in the right, you were wise to do the adoption formally and by the book.  Do you have any paperwork showing that he's yours?  Is he microchipped to you?  If yes just show them those details if there's any question of them wanting him back.

Here's to many happy years with Rocky, he had a lucky escape and he's landed on his feet, that's the most important thing!

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Cuddlepie

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Re: I can see this becoming an issue - help me be polite, its gonna be tough
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2011, 09:15:19 PM »
Rocky must be extremely happy that he 'chose' you to give him a happy home.  He is one smart dog, eh?

It is very kind to allow the kid to visit.  Listen carefully to anything he says as his words many clue you in how his parents feel about the situation.  Also, I would not be giving him too much information about Rocky (how you found him and vet visits etc).  Less info for parents and less fodder for them to try and start an argument with, if that's the road they go down.  My feeling is they won't, but be prepared if they do.

If parents contact you, refer them to the shelter where they will be trained to deal with owners such as them.


Ceallach

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Re: I can see this becoming an issue - help me be polite, its gonna be tough
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2011, 09:19:15 PM »
I also want to point out that this kids only previous experience with animals may be through the poor example his parents have set.  By allowing the kid to visit, you may well be showing him an alternate, better way of treating a pet, and perhaps prevent him turning into an adult who mistreats animals further down the line.   

So I think it is definitely the right thing to do if possible (assuming he doesn't cause any issues).
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boxy

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Re: I can see this becoming an issue - help me be polite, its gonna be tough
« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2011, 09:27:21 PM »
Knowing that this kid/family neglected the dog to within 1 week of death I never would've acknowledged that the dog had been his. 

I would not let him visit, pet, or otherwise engage the dog.  Why should anyone be allowed to renew contact when they starved and tortured a poor dog?  Keeping it in a small enclosure for years?  Seriously?  These people have lost the right to have anything to do with the dog.