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Our adoption story with Theta

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I have always been an animal lover. I remember growing up and thinking I can’t wait for the day that I get my very own puppy. That day finally came on January 30th of this year. I shared our special day with you all and announced her official welcome into our home. It was the perfect day.

Fast forward to October 1st. A representative from the rescue we were adopting Theta from came to our house to pick her up so she could be brought to an eye specialist. See back in April I noticed that her eyes looked a little….off. Actually you could see directly through her right eye. I brought it up to the vet and he said he couldn’t look at it because he wasn’t sure if the rescue would cover it. I then talked to the receptionist and she said she would talk to the rescue and let us know. Background: In September we noticed that our check for our “donation” had been cashed without word or any adoption paperwork for Theta. We emailed the owner of the rescue and asked what happened, why hadn’t we received the adoption papers and we had concerns about Theta that were never addressed.

When making arrangements for Theta to see the specialist it NEVER occurred to me that they would not bring her home.

She will get her to the vet on the first and then back to you some time after the appointment.  The vet works very odd hours, and schedules time by having you call in at 2pm on the day you are set to visit to get your appointment time.  It’s really kind of weird.

Looking back on it I beat myself up for not taking her myself or going with them or doing something to keep her in our hands not theirs. After they did not bring her home the next day I knew something was not right. I sent numerous emails, texts and even called the owner but most of my attempts went ignored. We would hear from the owner about once a week if we were lucky and as soon as I asked when we could bring Theta back home he would stop all communications. This went on for almost a month. Me begging and pleading trying to get our puppy home and them ignoring me. I can’t tell you how hard it is to feel utterly helpless.

They wanted us to pay for her surgery but based on the agreement they signed since they never forwarded the adoption papers the rescue was responsible for her treatment. The cost quoted to us for the treatment according to the owner was over $2300.

From the reports I know that the doctor found a cataract in here eye.  It is not common for a dog of this age to have these so he believes that it is hereditary.  If it is hereditary, there is always a chance that the other eye will also develop a cataract.  The best way to keep her vision is to do the surgery to fix her eye now while she is still young, and to do it as soon as possible.  The estimated cost of the surgery is over $2300, but they are offering a discount to us as a rescue group.

I explained to them many times over that we are a single income family. We have three children and that was a big chunk of change that we simply could not afford. Twenty-four days later the owner finally agreed to run a fundraiser but he still expected us to pay half. I started a fundraiser but wasn’t able to raise but a very small amount. My husband spoke with a volunteer and in frustration of going in circles with the rescue for nearly a month he said two words that I believe they based their entire decision off of. He referred to Theta as that dog when he said we wouldn’t pay for the surgery. One moment  of weakness and we were judged.

Yesterday morning we my son opened the front door to go to the bus stop he yelled asking why Thetas house was out front. Confused I ran over and sure enough her crate was out front on our door step and a check in the mailbox. There was our answer. Again instead of communicating with us and acting like adults they dropped off some of her stuff an ran. My heart is broken. I don’t know that I have ever cried as much as I have in the last day. I feel silly because so emotionally distraught over this but she was my baby. We got her at eight weeks old and I raised her. I fed her, bathed her, cuddled with her, trained her. She was my baby Theta and I loved her.


The reason I am sharing our story is to hopefully help someone in their pet adoption journey. Please make sure you do your research on the rescue you are working with. Meet with them in person, don’t allow lack of communication. Get every thing in writing. Read what you sign. Make sure they are truly legitimate and have their information handy. The rescue we went through does not monitor their phones, it’s an answering machine and that’s it, same goes for their email. They have no address listed and they screen their phone calls. I ignored these signs and just took them at face value when I should have paid more attention. I would do anything to get our baby girl back but at this point I am lost and with no way to communicate I don’t know what good it would do.



*Quotes includes in the post are verbatim from email communications.*




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  • roseapowell

    This makes me very sad, what the adoption agency did was in very poor taste at best. I'm so sorry that your family is going through this, I'm sure many other potential adoptive pet owners will appreciate your story.

    • shanamama

      Thank you Rose. That is my hope, no one deserves to go through something like this and if I can help make sure that happens then I will do anything I can to help.

  • Alli

    Oh man, I'm sorry. Good message to do your research!

  • Kate

    Ah your poor kiddos (and you too.) This makes me so sad. I hope you are getting the word out on this rescue. Have you thought about contacting the local news stations? I bet one would do a story! Maybe you could get Theta back?

    • shanamama

      Yes I have Kate. I had been sitting on the local news information for a few weeks but I had been holding on to hope that it wouldn't come to that. I have reached out to three different areas of the media so hopefully I hear back.

  • Lisa P

    It's sad that this happened th you but hopefully sharing yur story will be a warning to anyone looking at adopting through a rescue, most of them are ran by volunteers and hardly ever have a legitimate business licence. So they have no one to answer to. I also think you should call the local CBS or NBC station consumer tip line. I think you should grab some mom friends and protest outside the house of the person who runs the rescue.

    • shanamama

      Yes, everyone there was a volunteer. The was a man who was the owner and two volunteers we dealt with through this. All I ever wanted was to work together on this, if we came at it as a united front instead of a hostile one we could have gotten a lot further I believe. I had even considered a bit ago after our adoption was finalized talking to the owner about volunteering because I saw they were in need of volunteers.

  • Amelia O.

    This makes me so sad.

    • shanamama

      Me too, I've been a ball of emotions for three days now.

  • Cat Davis

    I'm so sorry! What these people did is just awful. Did you ever get the police involved?

    • shanamama

      Yes we called them after the first week that they didn't bring her home. They came out and said that it's unfortunately a civil matter and we could take them to small claims but I was more concerned about getting her back then dragging them to court.

  • MommaDJane

    That is so so sad. I wish I could say it has never happened to us before but unfortunately it did. We purchased a puppy that got sick once making it home. We rushed them to the vet so they would survive, paid the $300 vet bill and when the original owner came to pick up the puppy to get them 'checked out' by their vet in order to make sure everything else was taken care of per our original agreement we never saw the puppy again. They never reimbursed us the cost of the puppy or the vet bill. Thankfully we only had him for two days so the kids weren't too attached but still. It's very sad how dishonest people are with living creatures like pets. They aren't just a disposable toy, you know?

    • shanamama

      Oh my gosh that is horrible Dwan! For the life of me I will never understand how people can be so heartless and cruel.

  • dcrmom

    I could just cry for you. We got a dog from a rescue last year and I can't imagine the heartbreak if someone took her away. xo

  • deb

    I am so very sorry. This is just awful. I can't imagine someone taking my dog from me. Sending great big hugs your way.

  • Allison

    I am so sorry, I agree with the people that suggest you call local news. My thoughts and prayers are with you. I have rescued all five of my animals. i can not imagine your pain, and hers as well. Very sad. Feel free to contact me if I can help you at all. oxoxoxo

  • Jenn

    I am so sorry! This is just horrible and makes me rethink taking any "rescue" group seriously ever again. Unless it's the Humane Society, now I won't trust any organization. I really hope that the local newsstation is able to do something to help!

    • shanamama

      I hope so too Jenn. I know there are thousand of wonderful places out there and I don't want it for them to not be able to do the great work they do I just want people to be informed about who they may be considering this process with so this does not happen to another family.

  • tracey

    I am so sorry! I cannot imagine… Good luck. I hope she is returned to you…

  • D

    My prayers are with you. And I shared this as much as I could. So don't be surprised if you find it everywhere.

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