A Missouri man who is paralyzed from the waist down from a 2003 accident had to be rushed to the hospital for surgery in March. He had been postponing medical care because he didn’t want to lose his beloved Siberian Husky, Kino, who kept him going in hard times.
“(My brother is) fearful of being alone,” Craig Van Compernelle’s sister Tammy Smith told Fox4KC. “Dogs love you unconditionally. They don’t care what you look like. It’s not judgmental, there’s no one to argue with, they’re just your companion.”
Animal Control officials say that since Van Compernelle lived alone, Kino was automatically taken to the shelter. The family didn’t know that after 10 days of no contact, Animal Control puts dogs up for adoption. (Luckily the shelter doesn’t put dogs down at that point.) Shelter workers say they tried to contact Van Compernelle by leaving a note on his door. Since he was in the hospital, he never got it. Two days after the 10-day period, Kino was adopted.
Smith says she called the shelter the next day and was told Kino had a new home. There was nothing she could do about it. Yesterday Fox4C reported that the shelter recently called the dog’s new owners. They say the dog is working out very well. They don’t want to give him back.
“I just think he’s had enough life lessons that have been hard,” his sister said. “This one is just so hard because it’s more than just a dog to him. It’s actually his companion.”
It’s not clear from the Fox story whether her brother knows the bad news yet. She said it would devastate him. Can you imagine? You go into the hospital distressed about the fact that you’re not going to be with your dog, and you come back and your dog has been adopted to someone else.
What’s a little odd about this situation is that provisions for the dog weren’t made by family, friends, or Van Compernelle’s case worker. It seems that with everyone involved, someone could have known that shelters are not pet hotels. I’d be interested in learning more details.
What do you think, Dogsters? Should Kino’s new owners give him back, or is he rightfully theirs? Should Van Compernelle’s caretakers have helped find Kino temporary housing? I’d like to hear your feedback. It’s vaguely reminiscent of the story of Chuck Hoage and Annie, if you recall that one. (That situation ended with the original owner getting his dog back, but there was a great deal of heartache along the way for both sides.)