All For Audrey - Help Bring Our Dog Home sign now

At approximately 2:55pm on March 5th, 2007 I, Katie Karpinski, along with Jake Nelson, found a dog at an intersection wearing a red collar. Assuming it was just lost, we took it to a clinic to check for a microchip. The dog did not have one, and we noticed the collar was very tight and had to remove it with scissors as it was inhibiting the dogs breathing. Taking the collar off revealed patches of fur that had been rubbed off.
We contacted Animal Control, the Human Society, and placed an ad in the paper. An employee at the county shelter told us that if the dog was not claimed and was in our possession for 7 days, we would become the rightful owners of the dog. We agreed to this, as we had bonded with the dog from the start. She became a member of our family, loved our other pets, and found a place in our hearts. We are proven responsible dog owners with up to date vaccinations on our current pets, registrations, a fenced in yard, and more luxuries than many companion animals ever experience.
7 days went by, and that same evening we celebrated the knowledge that she was ours and personalized a collar and tags and planned to have her vaccinated/registered with the county the following week. On the morning of March 13th, we received a phone call from a man who had seen the ad and insisted the dog was his. However, he incorrectly described the color of the dogs collar. We had been told to screen people thoroughly who attempted to claim the dog, as it was known that people would do so in order to obtain free dogs to use as bait in dog fights. Concerned already, we asked if the dog was registered with the county and the man insisted that she was up to date on vaccinations as well as registered. We took down the mans name and called the county Animal Control to see if the man was telling the truth. He wasnt- Animal Control had no records of him registering the dog- and we were told it was our call if we wished to relinquish the dog to the man or not. We called the man back and explained the situation and that we had chosen to keep the dog. He then became hostile, and within an hour showed up at our doorstep with a police officer- who did no investigation whatsoever and took the dog from us, and gave it to the man.
We are extremely concerned for the well being of this animal. We do not believe that the officer had any right to obtain the dog from us, as we had been told it was our choice and the man did not provide us with any evidence that the dog was even his. By those standards anyone could claim anything in a newspaper and even if they couldnt prove ownership, they could just call a sheriff and have them take it without hesitation. We are very worried and desperately want the dog returned to us where she belongs.
An online background check showed that the man already has ordinance violations against failing to vaccinate and register his dogs. We have been told that if the man provides proof to the county that he had the dog before (i.e., photo of her with him as a pup) that he will more than likely be able to keep the dog and simply pay a few fines. However even if he is able to, it doesnt change the fact that the dog shows clear signs of neglect (in the fact that he let her roam without identification and with a collar that was clearly inhibiting her health) and the fact that the dog was taken from our home without any right.
Anyone who agrees that this dog was wrongfully taken from us and that she should be returned where she will be cared for properly, please sign below. Every name counts.

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Rhea MilesBy:
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Stephenson County, IL Officials

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