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For those of you who wonder if this can actually be true, I thought it would be helpful to share the actual document submitted to the court for trial set March 12, 2015.
This is just one of many incidents like this, happening more and more regularly around the country.
In the complaint, it looks like anyone associated with Central Ohio Sheltie Rescue is named as well as the County Animal Control employees. This is a good thing.
The Complaint in Piper the Sheltie's Legal Battle
The complaint submitted to the court contains:
Veronica Covatch and co-owner Michelle Wilson are undisputed owners of Piper, the sheltie. You may hear that supporters of COSR (Central Ohio Sheltie Rescue) that Piper was re-homed in December 2013 as noted in a post on Facebook. But nowhere, at any point in time has anyone come forward to say Piper is not Veronica’s or Michelle’s. I’m not sure why a “rescue” cannot understand the concept of “fostering”.
Franklin County, Ohio and Franklin County Animal Control illegally released Piper in violation of state and county laws, rules and regulations of Franklin County Dog Shelter.
Violation of Due Process. The owners were deprived of their property without due process of law.
Fraud. As organizations supposedly work towards reuniting dogs with owners and which receive funds and donations based on that mission, both the animal control and COSR are aware that the monies they received will not be used to meet that goal.
Unjust Enrichment. They have been unjustly enriched by keeping a dog they do not own at the expense of the rightful owners, Veronica Covatch and Melissa Wilson.
Conspiracy. By working together, these defendants kept Piper from her rightful owner.
Piercing the Corporate Veil. Penny Sanderbeck, as director of COSR has complete control over the business of COSR. Therefore she is held personally responsible for the actions.
Piper’s owners are asking for $15,000 plus attorney and court costs in addition to return of Piper.
They also demand a trial by jury.
So all you bogus rescues out there, and all you complacent animal control departments, you may want to see how the general public feels about taking someone’s dog when there is enough reasonable proof they are owned and loved by someone.
I’m hoping the jury sends a strong message to get out of the retail rescue business now, because the tide is turning. The public is becoming aware of the perversion of what used to be the respectable activity of rescue.
If you can’t put your money where your mouth is in regard to truly caring about the dogs and their owners, you will be out of business.