CHICAGO (CBS) — The lawyer for a rescue group that allowed a dog to be adopted to a new family while its original owners were still looking for it says his clients have met their legal obligation.
Andre Wrighte, who represents Fetching Tails Foundation, said his client has a “legally binding and enforceable contract with the adopter of the dog,” who won’t give the dog back to the original owner.
Symara Moses and her young kids say their dog of 10 years, Kobe, ran off on July 5 in their Austin neighborhood after Kobe became scared of the fireworks.
“Get your dog chipped then you wouldn’t be going through this,” Moses said. “That is the biggest lesson here.”
A search through the neighborhood showed no signs of Kobe. The family didn’t realize that animal care workers found the dog July 6th and took him to Chicago Animal Care and Control.
He stayed there for three days and then was transferred to Fetching Tails Foundation. Wrighte said the group neutered and micro-chipped the dog and treated an ear infection. After about a week with Fetching Tails, another family legally adopted the dog, Wrighte said.
“It just so happens that, in this case, the dog was adopted sooner than expected,” Wrighte said.
The Moses family, who was still looking for Kobe, heard Fetching Tails might have had the dog. Symara reached out last week and the group’s president told her the new family didn’t want to give the dog up.
“Quite frankly, there are no other steps. It’s sad and unfortunate. As Ms. Moses said, the dog should have been tagged and chipped,” Wrighte said. “If I’m not mistaken, didn’t the dog escape from the property? I don’t want to assess blame here.”
Moses emailed Fetching Tails Foundation Monday requesting a meeting with the new owners, but she said no one has responded to her. She doesn’t know the group’s phone number because they don’t list one online.
“We have a very big but simple issue here but if dialogue is not even open then we can’t even get started,” Moses said.
According to Wrighte, Fetching Tails’ contract with the adopters prohibits them from disclosing any contact information about the adopters.
“The new owners are aware of what’s been going on,” Wrighte said. “But none of that matters. There is a legal contract.”
After Fetching Tails stopped responding, Moses showed up at their fundraiser where a co-founder would not discuss the issue.
On Thursday, the rescue group’s lawyer sent her a cease and desist asking her to stop harassing them in public space.