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Mercy Miracle (M&M)
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It appears that the owners of Bella and Jake might be low income. They posted a link to volunteer lawyers from Maine. I am extemely passionate about low income people not being denied the joys of dog ownership and companionship, especially because of the mental health benefits that dogs bring.
 

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gone
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6 months is a long time to ask the new family to give it up and IF this goes further and ends up in court it could drag out for a year or more, then to give up their pets of 2 or more years? Many seem to be for the family who through their negligence lost their dogs, but nobody seems to be for the new family and their possible circumstances. as far as anyone knows these dogs could be in another state or across the border in another country and the new family has no idea of all this stuff going on. There's nothing on the fb pages to show admittance of wrong doing and blaming everyone else but themselves for their errors. Oh, and deleting negative posts that they don't agree with? Highly suspect.
 

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Mercy Miracle (M&M)
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5,097 Posts
The 6 month waiting period does puzzle me. I am sure the new family is not denying the previous family on purpose. They could very well be somewhere else totally unaware the that previous family is looking for them. I am sure the children of the previous family is heartbroken.
 

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Major's dad
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Discussion Starter #404
6 months is a long time to ask the new family to give it up and IF this goes further and ends up in court it could drag out for a year or more, then to give up their pets of 2 or more years? Many seem to be for the family who through their negligence lost their dogs, but nobody seems to be for the new family and their possible circumstances. as far as anyone knows these dogs could be in another state or across the border in another country and the new family has no idea of all this stuff going on. There's nothing on the fb pages to show admittance of wrong doing and blaming everyone else but themselves for their errors. Oh, and deleting negative posts that they don't agree with? Highly suspect.
It seems to me that there are just as many people calling out the errors in the original owners that there are blaming others.

They've admitted a few times on their Facebook page that they 'could have done this... And could have done that..."
That is unless they removed their comments at a request of the lawyer?
I'm on my phone right now and I haven't checked their FB page in a few days so idk...

I honestly am stuck in the middle on this one because I can't stand thinking of being either party of this mess! My heart goes out to the new AND original families.
 

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Premium Member
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Some posters on this thread seem be familiar with the clinic and towns involved. Can someone check with the Sullivan and Franklin town governments and find out if the ACO did not comply with her duties by not contacting registered owners? I saw this posted on the FB page and I am appalled, how can ACO get away with blatantly disregarding tags and not contacting owners if she picks up a dog that is wearing tags?

(Maria) Zwicker (animal control office) says "even if I find a dog with tags on, I can still bring the dog to the shelter and not look for the owners".
 

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Registered
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Some posters on this thread seem be familiar with the clinic and towns involved. Can someone check with the Sullivan and Franklin MA town governments and find out if the ACO did not comply with her duties by not contacting registered owners? I saw this posted on the FB page and I am appalled, how can ACO get away with blatantly disregarding tags and not contacting owners if she picks up a dog that is wearing tags?

(Maria) Zwicker (animal control office) says "even if I find a dog with tags on, I can still bring the dog to the shelter and not look for the owners".
The town is Franklin, ME ( Maine ) not Franklin, MA ( Massachusetts, that is where I am from ;) ).

Only one dog had a collar on, but no tags. They were registered to the town, so if she pulled the records from the town, then she would have seen that two goldens belonged to this family. She did pull the records from the town the dog's were found, there were ten families, but she was quoted as saying she did not have time. She is the ACO for both the town she found the dogs in and the town that the dogs came from.

I have done searches on Marie Zwicker ( she also shows up under another last name, can't remember it though.) She is a BIG ACTIVIST for many things.

I do know the shelter in my new city in Missouri, actually posts all found dogs on their website, and during business hours, they have a webcam on each holding cage, and rotates pictures of each cage so one can easily see if their pet is being held. I also see the the animal control posting found pets on craigslist quite often.
 

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Premium Member
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Pardon my mistake. My question still stands, and not just for this particular situation. What are the responsibilities of the ACO per the job description and town laws for the towns she is employed by?

How can she possibly be doing her job if she would blatantly ignore id tags and not bother to call the contact on those tags? Is she required to or is she not required to attempt to contact owners when id is present?

Citizens of these townships should be in an uproar if she either is NOT doing her job, or their towns have no requirement for animal control to attempt to contact owners off ID, which would include tags and microchips.

Hypothetical situation, a person lives in one of those towns, their dog is registered with the town, is wearing id tags, and is also microchipped. They unfortunately get picked up by animal control, yet animal control makes not effort to contact the owners even though contact information is on the dog in two forms, and the dog is registered with town.

How is that acceptable?
 

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The Missouri Crew
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13,683 Posts
Dirks fund had something close to this happen: Willie got out of the back yard , when a gate was left open by the meter man, Willie ended up in a shelter 150 miles away from his home, an elderly lady adopted him then she became ill and Willie went back to the shelter. The shelter called us to go get him, we did, had all vet work done and put him in a foster home, which he was there for over 6 months and the foster family was to adopt Willie on the weekend..Willie's picture and bio were on petfinder-through our adoptable list. We got a call one day from the original owner telling us the story about how he got out. These people had pictures of Willie since he was a pup. He did have a marking on him that was clearing visible in there photos. KEEP in mind Willie had been gone for 6 YEARS. The families daughter put up Willies stocking every Christmas for 6 years never given up hope he would return home.We set up a meeting with the original owners and foster home. It was a bitter sweet reunion, Willie got out of the car and ran to his old family given kisses, the foster family who LOVED this dog, with Dirksfund gave Willie back to the family. This story made the paper and the local news.
 

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How can she possibly be doing her job if she would blatantly ignore id tags and not bother to call the contact on those tags? Is she required to or is she not required to attempt to contact owners when id is present?
There was no ID present. One dog had no collar, the other had collar no tags
 

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Maine's Dog laws (not complete)

§3912. Disposition of dogs at large
1. Ownership of dog unknown. Except as provided in subsection 2, an animal control officer or person acting in that capacity shall seize, impound or restrain a dog found in violation of section 3911 and deliver it to an animal shelter as provided for in section 3913, subsection 2-A. If ownership can not be established, such a dog may be handled as a stray dog for the purpose of acceptance by an animal shelter. [1997, c. 690, §10 (new).]
2. Ownership of known dog. An animal control officer or person acting in that capacity shall seize, impound or restrain a dog found in violation of section 3911 and, if the owner is known, shall:
A. Take the dog to its owner; OR [1999, c. 254, §4 (new).]
B. Deliver it to an animal shelter as provided in section 3913. An animal shelter receiving a dog in accordance with this paragraph shall follow the procedure for stray dogs provided in section 3913. [1999, c. 254, §4 (new).]
[1999, c. 254, §4 (rpr).]
CREDIT(S)
1987, c. 383, § 3; 1987, c. 643, § 1, eff. March 25, 1988; 1991, c. 779, § 17, eff. March 31, 1992; 1993, c. 657, § 12; 1997, c. 690, § 10; 1999, c. 254, § 4.


§3913. Procedure for stray dogs
1. Persons finding stray dogs. A person finding a stray dog and taking control of that dog shall take that dog to its owner if known or, if the owner is not known, to the animal shelter designated by the municipality in which the dog was found.
2. Repealed. Laws 1991, c. 779, § 20, eff. March 31, 1992.
2-A. Animal shelter. An animal shelter, as defined in section 3907, to which a stray dog is taken shall accept the dog for a period of 6 days unless the shelter is in quarantine or has a bona fide lack of adequate space. Except as provided in subsection 2-B, the acceptance entitles the animal shelter to receive from the department the sum of $4 a day for the period for which food and shelter are furnished to the dog. An animal shelter may refuse to accept dogs from municipalities not contracting with that animal shelter.
2-B. Adoption policy. Beginning January 1, 2010, to be eligible for reimbursement under subsection 2-A, an animal shelter must have an adoption policy. An adoption policy must provide for a dog to be available for adoption for a minimum of 24 hours except as provided in subsection 6.
3. Claims; fees. The procedure for filing claims and calculating fees is as follows.
A. On the business day next following the date of acceptance of a dog that is not delivered by an animal control officer or person acting in that capacity, the animal shelter shall notify the animal control officer or person acting in that capacity of the respective municipality of the acceptance of the dog, its description and the circumstances of its finding.
B. An animal shelter that accepts a dog under this section, within 45 days of acceptance of the dog, shall submit a claim on a department-approved form to the department for fees incurred in providing food and shelter and the animal shelter shall forward a copy of the claim to the clerk of the respective municipality.
C. If the owner claims the dog within the 6-day period, the owner may have and receive the dog upon payment of all department-approved fees as provided in subsection 2-A, the municipal impoundment fee and actual fees incurred for food, shelter, veterinary care and any other fees required by this chapter for each day that the dog has been sheltered, provided that the dog is licensed in accordance with chapter 721. [FN1]
4. Ownership of dog. Upon expiration of the 6-day period, ownership of the dog is vested in the animal shelter. The animal shelter may then:
A. Except as provided in section 3938-A, sell or give away the dog, but not to a research facility, if a license is first obtained in accordance with chapter 721; or
B. Otherwise dispose of the dog humanely in accordance with Title 17, chapter 42, subchapter IV. [FN2] Except as provided in this section, an animal shelter must hold a dog at least 8 days before euthanasia.
Notwithstanding this subsection, ownership of a dog for the purposes of adoption is immediately vested in an animal shelter if the animal shelter makes a determination that the dog is obviously abandoned. An obviously abandoned dog does not include a dog roaming at large.
An animal shelter shall establish and collect fees for reclaimed or adopted animals to offset costs of keeping a dog beyond 6 days.
None of the proceeds obtained from the sale, donation, adoption or other disposition of the dog may be deducted from the fee claimed.
Notwithstanding subsection 3, paragraph C, the previous owner may reacquire the dog at any time prior to its sale, donation or disposal upon payment of the municipal impoundment fee and actual fees incurred for food, shelter, veterinary care and any other fees required by this chapter for each day that the dog has been sheltered. In this case, no fee may be allowed by the department.
 

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Dirks fund had something close to this happen: Willie got out of the back yard , when a gate was left open by the meter man, Willie ended up in a shelter 150 miles away from his home, an elderly lady adopted him then she became ill and Willie went back to the shelter. The shelter called us to go get him, we did, had all vet work done and put him in a foster home, which he was there for over 6 months and the foster family was to adopt Willie on the weekend..Willie's picture and bio were on petfinder-through our adoptable list. We got a call one day from the original owner telling us the story about how he got out. These people had pictures of Willie since he was a pup. He did have a marking on him that was clearing visible in there photos. KEEP in mind Willie had been gone for 6 YEARS. The families daughter put up Willies stocking every Christmas for 6 years never given up hope he would return home.We set up a meeting with the original owners and foster home. It was a bitter sweet reunion, Willie got out of the car and ran to his old family given kisses, the foster family who LOVED this dog, with Dirksfund gave Willie back to the family. This story made the paper and the local news.
I have read this story a couple times, and it has always given me chills.
 
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