Pangman-area resident Patricia Ungermann and her family have lost a fight to adopt a dog that she and her children fell in love with from the Weyburn Humane Society, but vow to continue to fight over what they feel was an injustice done to the dog.
They little knew of the controversy that would ensue, including numerous postings on Facebook pages as the family fought to keep the dog, and the Humane Society fought to get her back.
The dog, named “Peaches”, is a female Husky and St. Bernard cross, and Ungermann found the dog to be happy to be a part of their family, including being good around her children. Peaches is now back at the Humane Society’s animal shelter, without a family.
Very shortly after bringing Peaches home to their farm, Ungerman was surprised to receive a call and a letter from the Humane Society demanding the return of Peaches, out of concern for the welfare of the dog and the safety of the family.
The trial adoption was to finish on Oct. 17, and Ungermann vowed in an interview on Wedneday, “She’s not going back there. It’s not fair to the dog. Even if we don’t keep her, we have another home she can go to; she’s beautiful and loves kids. … If she was aggressive, she never would’ve stayed here.”
She added that when the family saw the dog at the animal shelter, they were never told that the dog might be aggressive, and since taking her home, Peaches has not shown any aggressive signs whatsoever. Also, there was no information about the dog on-line that showed her to be aggressive or a danger to children.
The dog was returned to the animal shelter, however, after Ungermann was informed that the Humane Society could have them charged with theft of the dog. On Monday, Ungermann said she checked with the RCMP, and while they were unsure that a charge of theft could be laid, they recommended the dog’s return, so she complied, knowing that now she will never get the dog back.
During the trial adoption period, they received a letter from the board of the Humane Society asking for the dog’s return.
“She’s a beautiful dog, is extremely smart and has absolutely no aggression. I’m wondering what the board’s agenda is. Why have they not called us (before the letter came)? They just demanded that the dog be returned,” said Ungermann.
In a brief comment on Friday, Humane Society president Kelly Eddy said the dog had been let go by a staff member without going through the proper procedure, which was to allow the board to decide on the dog’s placement; thus, they were asking for the dog’s return so the proper process could be followed for the placing of “Peaches”.
Noting there has been a lot said on Facebook on this issue, Eddy said, “There is a second side to this story, but we’re not willing to go into details at this time.”
Eddy added that they are not “heartless people”, but until the proper process has been followed for this dog, this was the only information she was willing to give out at this time.
Ungermann pointed out that the Humane Society has had the dog there for over a year, and should be wanting her to go to a good loving home.
“Why is she there, why can’t she go to a good home?” she asked, noting they had a friend who lives on a farm, has no children and had formerly worked for the Humane Society for two years, but the Humane Society simply said “no” to this suggestion without even considering this person.
“The dog had been abused, but we’ve dealt with abused dogs before,” said Ungermann.
“She could be in a home. To us, that’s the whole point of the Humane Society, to adopt her out,” she added, commenting it seems they are making a discretionary decision not based on facts but on how they feel about the people.
“We’ve fostered dogs, we’ve gone through the Regina Humane Society and they’ve never had any problems with us. We have tons of experience,” said Ungermann.
She was also upset that any postings by her or anyone else about this issue has continuually been deleted from the “Friends of the Humane Society” Facebook page, so she’s had her own Facebook page going that has lots of information on it. First it was called “Help Peaches”, but since they gave Peaches back, the page name has been changed to “Make Them Answer”.
“We plan on doing a letter campaign. It’s just not right the poor dog is back in the shelter,” she said, pointing out Peaches never ever acted aggressively, and never even barked.
“We were made to feel like we were stupid, and they made no attempt to meet with us. It could’ve been done differently,” said Ungermann, adding she is calling for Eddy to resign from the board, “due to her behaviour.”