Family regrets lying to shelter, wants their dog back

Henry Brown poses with Maggie, one of his three dogs. Brown said he gave up a fourth dog named...

Henry Brown poses with Maggie, one of his three dogs. Brown said he gave up a fourth dog named Ricky to the Wallaceburg Animal Shelter earlier this month, but immediately regretted the decision. Despite pleas to return Ricky, Brown says the Animal Shelter refused and adopted the dog to another family. DAVID GOUGH/COURIER PRESS/QMI AGENCY

David Gough, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:47 PM ET

CHATHAM, Ont. -- A family that tried to avoid a $60 fee by giving one of their dogs to a shelter now regrets the move and wants it back -- but the animal has already been adopted.

Earlier this month, Henry and Rose Brown gave up Ricky, their poodle mix, after their landlord told them they were not allowed to have four dogs at their house.

They had previously brought a stray cat to the OPSCA and were charged $60. They didn't want to pay a fee again, so they told the animal shelter that Ricky wasn't their dog.

"The only way we thought we would get away with it is if we lied and said it was a stray," Henry Brown said Thursday.

"We would like him back. We miss him," he said.

Brown said he returned to the shelter the same day to get Ricky back but was told someone else was coming to look at the dog.

He said he went back to the shelter for four days in a row, begging and pleading to get his dog back, telling them he had made a mistake.

The Browns said Ricky's municipal dog tags proved he was their dog.

But the shelter ignored their pleas and the dog was later adopted, Brown said.

"Okay, we lied and said it was a stray, but you have to punish me for that?" Brown said Thursday.

"There is a hole in this family, because it's like giving away your kids."

He admits it's a long shot, but he and his wife are hoping that Ricky's adopted family will consider returning the dog to his original owners. They no longer care what the landlord thinks.

"If I got to move, then I will move," he said.

The shelter could not be reached Thursday for comment.


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