Categories: Animal Rescue

Case will go before a jury to determine ownership of injured dog signed over to a rescue under a ‘medical release’

An Anderson, South Carolina woman will have to go to court in May to determine who gets custody of her dog after it was given to a Golden Retriever rescue under a ‘medical release’ after the dog was possibly hit by a car, where he suffered injuries. Forgive the long article but it’s necessary to give all sides of the story. From what I’ve been told the injury wasn’t as bad as it looked and he only needed crate rest to recover.

For now Ogie is across the state with a coastal dog rescue (Kristal Butts)

What happened to “Ogie”

According to Kristal Butts, Ogie disappeared from her home on Christmas Eve after finding a way to escape their fence (he’s apparently good at this). Within two days, she learned Ogie had been found and taken to Anderson County PAWS (the local shelter) and she’d have to wait until the shelter reopened after the holidays to reclaim her dog.

Anderson County PAWS director Kim Sanders believes Ogie was hit by a car. He had open wounds on his back legs and possibly a broken pelvis. Due to his condition, Ogie was released to Grand Strand Golden Retriever Rescue in Horry County.

Sanders stated during an interview with WPDE News

It was very obvious that he was hurting and he was really struggling to even stand up at that point. So they immediately contacted me and we got him some medical care. We immediately reached out to a rescue group to take on that burden.

Imagine coming forward, only to learn your dog was no longer at the shelter. Sanders tried to help and immediately reached out to the rescue to let them know Ogie had an owner who had showed up within the mandatory state hold period and wanted Ogie back. That’s when things got dicey. The rescue has absolutely refused to work with Anderson County PAWS on returning the dog to his home.

What’s up with the rescue not giving Ogie back?

Sanders said when she learned Ogie’s owner had come forward and wanted the dog back, she immediately reached out to the rescue and was told  ‘I’m not giving him back because they breed him and we don’t agree with this.’

On December 27, Grand Strand Golden Retriever Rescue sent out a plea for financial help from their supporters. He was renamed Hampton.

Posted by the rescue on December 27

URGENT!!
Pupdate: Hampton will see our MB vet on Monday for further evaluation. He’s getting lots of pain meds to keep him comfortable over the weekend.

Hampton was hit by a car and the driver took off. Hungry, he ate quite a bit of deer and vomited teeth, hair and an entire ear. He cannot walk, has a broken pelvis, two large puncture wounds (likely from the front of the car) and a possible injury or break in his spine.

He is in our care at a vet, but we need your help to save this sweet guy. Donations can be sent thru PayPal at grandstrandgoldenretrieverrescue@yahoo or by clicking the DONATE link on our website www.grandstrandgrr.org. Please donate whatever you can. No amount is too small or too large.

You’d think a dog who had recently eaten ‘quite a bit of deer and vomited teeth, hair and an entire ear’ had been neglected to the point of starving. Those with dogs who eat raw meat say this isn’t necessarily the case.

Butts admits to breeding dogs but says they’re well cared for

According to a change.org petition, Butts says “Ogie’s family without hesitation made a 5 hour one way trip to bring their family pet home. Only to find he had been taken to another location by rescue group as to ellude the owners. The family then drove the 5 hr trip back home heartbroken and faced with telling their children that  Ogie had not been returned.”

A court date was scheduled for 2/6/20, so Jeremy and Kristal Butts made another 5 hour trip to Myrtle Beach, hoping to bring OGIE home. However, the rescue facility requested a jury trial now, so the trip was for nothing. They set a new court date for May and the rescue facility still has OGIE until that date.

Kristal also told news media

My dogs don’t live on chains, and there is dog houses out there and they do have shelter and they are fed. But he’s also our pet and he’s not just used for the purpose of breeding.

A GoFundMe webpage has been set up by Kristy Yates to help cover any legal feeds necessary to bring Ogie home (please use discretion if you do donate).

Social media animal advocates are stating their opinion on both sides

Some are backing the rescue and calling the owner irresponsible for allowing Ogie to be put in the position where he’d be hit by a car. He also wasn’t microchipped, which could have prevented much of this mess over ownership. Had he been chipped, Ogie would have been returned to his owner very quickly, especially considering his injuries.

There are a lot of unanswered questions that I hope those in the know can add to the comment section. First of all, was Ogie at any time legally signed over to the rescue? One person says this rescue has a serious ‘lack of ethics.’

Until the jury trial in May, Ogie will remain on the coast and away from his family. Folks, get your pets microchipped! This could easily happen to anyone whose dog or cat is taken to a shelter after being injured. Rescues are great about stepping up to help a medical emergency. Many animals would face euthanasia or a painful death without rescues who worry about the pet first and how to cover the expenses once the animal is in a safe place and being treated.

Below are screenshots of communication by Anderson County Paws Director ‘to whom it may concern.’

This is going to be a legal mess because Anderson County didn’t legally have ownership of the Ogie at the time he was signed over to the rescue. The Butt’s family were, are and will continue to be the legal owners. It’s a shame they’re having to go before a jury to prove it.

Michael posted this article awhile back. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Butts family files a counter suit to get Ogie back.

Don’t be frightened to sue in the civil courts if a person won’t give your cat back

Please comment here using either Facebook or WordPress (when available).
Elisa Black-Taylor

Elisa is an experienced cat caretaker and rescuer. She lives in the US. As well as being a professional photographer, Elisa has been a regular contributor to PoC for nine years. See her Facebook page.

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  • Esther dear, I have not slandered or defamed. I have only listed facts and personal experiences. However, please feel free to enlighten me on what your opinion is where you think I have slandered or defamed. I am always interested and willing to read what you consider wrongful.

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