Local woman wants answers after she says her missing dog was adopted

By Tara Morgan - bio | email

LOUISA COUNTY, VA (WWBT) - For the second time this week, a local animal shelter is under the microscope following another possible mistake involving a family pet.  This time in Louisa county. The pet's owner not only wants answers, but wants her dog back.

Leila Hockaday says her black lab got loose from her mother's house in Hanover on June 4th and was told by Louisa Animal Control they picked up "Buster" two days later. She says animal control officials then changed their story and adopted out her dog to a county worker. Hockaday says "Buster" was truly her children's dog.

"I like to play with him," said her four year old son Addison.

"And watch movies with him," said his five year old sister Isabella.

Hockaday says she hasn't told them the whole story.

"They just think the dog ran off," said Hockaday.

Hockaday says "Buster" jumped a fence at her mother's house in Hanover. She says they repeatedly called both Hanover and Louisa county animal controls and her vet.

Hockaday says Louisa officials first told her they picked up her dog June 6 but then back-tracked and said it was the fifth. She says she was also told they had trouble reading the numbers on "Buster's" tag and that he'd been in the shelter for the allotted time allowed for a collared dog which is 12 days. By June 17 she says her dog had a new home.

"They told us they had not seen that lab and once they finally said oh yeah we did have him we sold him to one of our county worker," said Hockaday.

This case comes on the heels of Hanover Animal Control mistakenly euthanizing a dog that had been reported missing. Richmond SPCA's Robin Starr says good pet identification is crucial.

"Both microchipping your dog and putting on a collar with a traditional identification tag," said Starr.

With a microchip, Starr says the contact information must stay up to date in the database. Something Hockaday would consider if she got her dog back.

"It was a gift to them after their other dog passed away," said Hockaday.

The Richmond SPCA offers microchipping for $20 for all newly adopted pets, animals that are being spayed or neutered or seen in the wellness clinic.

Meantime, the Louisa County administrator says an administrative investigation is underway to see whether animal control policy was properly followed in Hockaday's case.

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