Emotional Facebook Photo Inspires Well-Wishers to Donate $400 to Free Dog

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The nice guys of social networking strike again. According to KABC-TV, animal lover Dave Thomas was reunited with his impounded dog because of a few Good Samaritan Facebook users.


Thomas was arrested last Friday in his California home for failure to appear in court over two traffic violations. Authorities also called animal control to remove the man's two-year-old Pit Bull mix named Buzz from the property and bring him to a nearby shelter.

After Thomas resolved his legal issues, he went to the shelter in an attempt to pick up Buzz. Workers told him that the dog was considered a stray and that over $400 in fees would be required to release him. Thomas only had $6 and was told if he couldn't come up with half of the fee by mid-week Buzz would probably be euthanized.

Heartbroken and dejected, Thomas sat down by Buzz's cage and shared what he thought would be one of his last moments with his best friend. Photographer Maria Sanchez, who was visiting the shelter, happened to see the tender moment and captured it on her camera.


"He was pouring water into his dog's water bowl, his dog sat there and licked up the water for about a minute, he sat down next to him and started weeping," Sanchez told KABC-TV.

Sanchez posted the picture and Thomas' story to Facebook, and soon numerous offers to pay for the dog's release were posted in the comments. With more than enough donations to spring Buzz, Sanchez just had on final task: Find Thomas.

The photographer began posting fliers around the area of the shelter in hopes of locating the man. Finally, with the help of a local news team, Thomas was located and given the good news. Thanks to over $2,000 donated by total strangers, Buzz would be released, vetted and micro-chipped for Thomas. The pair have since been reunited all thanks to a simple Facebook post and handful of animal-loving do-gooders.

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le096

I have been in law enforcement for over 20 years and I see a real big problem with this story. We have heard a lot recently in the news about police corruption but this a classic example of this abuse when the police go astray (pun intended).

First, the dog was not a stray it was rightfully owned property and the officers had the identity of the owner. By telling the pound / shelter that this dog was a stray was improperly reporting the facts. It is the duty of arresting officer to protect / safeguard the person's property. With the exception of food or items that will spoil they have to record the property for return (unless property if contraband).

Secondly, as defined under the US Constitution, the Fifth Amendment protects one from being deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law. Knowing this the officers concealed fact that the dog was property and not stray and the owner had rights to his property. The actions of these officers actually broke Federal Law, by depriving Rights under the color of law.

Lastly, a complaint should be made against this police dept., their pound / shelter and the officers. What they did was a very sneaky way of punishing this man for being accused of a crime. It is no different than stealing from someone. Maybe the officers didn't gain finically but they did attempt to deprive him of his property and would have succeeded had Photographer Maria Sanchez not intervened. If they could so easily do this, it begs the question, how many times have they violated someone's rights in the past.

I can understand needing to pay a fee to retrieve the dog, similar to the police having your car towed. I would love to know why the fee was $ 400. Were their fines for no license or shot record? But, deciding to euthanize a pet while knowing the hardship of the owner is wrong. The article did not say how long the dog was in the pound but they didn't spend
$ 400 to care for him. I have 5 dogs (large) dogs and even with them it takes some time for them to eat $ 400 worth of food.

I hope someone can follow up with this.

February 20 2013 at 11:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
munchinbiscuit

so happy for the dog and owner, hmm honestly if some peanut at a shelter ever told me that they would have to put my dog down after they took him..and the dog was taking care of when i had him...sorry the peanut heads at the shelter would have a very short time left.. hopefully this guy sue's them...or go back in the shelter after a couple months goes by and slips and falls then sue them

February 20 2013 at 5:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ellejanseptember

are you kidding arrested AND jailed for traffic issues dog impounded AND then they want $400 from this guy THE OWNER!!! or Buzz was to be "put down" when he had a home !!!!

I would like to know where this supposed shelter is ....

February 20 2013 at 5:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
goodfred13

Thank You....

February 20 2013 at 5:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
goodfred13

That is a GREAT story bravo bravo to Maria Sanchez and all people like her.

I'm sure that was a bond made by a higher power....

February 20 2013 at 5:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ponyhoney

Stories like this are endless. It seems like some people in shelters are on a power trip and they actually enjoy EXTORTING people or even making decisions to euthanize a dog faster than anyone can save it like that one a poster shared about the two dachshunds in Alabama. I can't imagine that any true animal lovers really work at either of those shelters. Thank god there are some real animal lovers in the world and FB friends helped this guy.

February 20 2013 at 5:09 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
katieinohio

What a touching story. I am glad it ended positively. I'm so happy for them!

February 20 2013 at 5:02 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
katieinohio

What a touching story. I am so happy for him and his little buddy.

February 20 2013 at 5:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brian

We have a similar situation here in Alabama, We had one case of two precious dachshunds brought to the shelter when the owner passed on, his grieving partner was not at home when he passed and the dogs were taken in by police. The guy showed up the very next day and they had already been killed! . YES they are by law supposed to keep them for ten days. this poor man lost his partner and two beloved dogs all in one day. All they could say was "it was a mixup" also they tried the 'they were viscous" lie but no one believed that

February 20 2013 at 4:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
theicefountain

What kind of F'ing shelter is this?

February 20 2013 at 4:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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