Family refuses to return woman’s lost service dog after adopting it

LaTonya Everhart has had her dog, Mr Tipps, for over a decade – and it’s even registered as her service dog. So when Mr. Tipps went missing in March, Everhart was naturally devastated. But what one shelter did after getting the dog left Everhart really heartbroken.

Friends for Animals of Metro Detroit adopted her dog to another family and now they say there is nothing they can do to reunite the dog’s mother with her dog. Mr. Tipps was not microchiped and, after being lost, was put up for adoption by the shelter.

Photo: LaTonya Everhart / Facebook

Once the adoptive family learned that their dog had in fact a family of its own waiting for him, they refused to return him to Everhart, according to Click on Detroit. What makes the situation all the more sad is that Everhart relies on Mr Tipps to warn her when her blood sugar drops.

“When my sugar goes up, he knows before I do,” Everhart told Click on Detroit. “He would lie on my feet, you know, and keep nudging me with his nose.”

Mr. Tipps initially went missing on March 13, when the family was in town for the funeral of Everhart’s mother.

“Someone accidentally left the door open and he got out,” she said. “And we are looking for him. It’s not just a pet, you know, it’s part of my family.”

After visiting many nearby animal shelters, searching the internet, and making signs, Everhart finally found a Facebook post that led her to the shelter in Dearborn, Michigan. As she rushed inside, the staff told her it was too late – and she couldn’t bring her dog back.

Photo: LaTonya Everhart / Facebook

“They were so cold, as if they really didn’t care,” she said.

Click Detroit spoke to Kim Cross, the shelter’s CEO, who told the news station there was nothing they could do to return the dog to his legal family.

“We did everything legally,” she told the station. “We kept the dog for a legal period of time, we looked for the owner, and then once the dog was adopted, there was really nothing we could do.”

Photo: LaTonya Everhart / Facebook

Despite being a registered service dog, Mr. Tipps is not legally required to return it to Everhart. Everhart even offered to pay the adoption fee to the family with Mr. Tipps to adopt another dog, but they didn’t want to, she said on Facebook.

Currently, Mr. Tipps is still living with another family. Everhart is devastated and hopes they will eventually change their mind.

“I just don’t get it,” Everhart said. “I don’t understand it at all.”

H/T: Click on Detroit
Featured pictures: LaTonya Everhart / Facebook

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