LaTonya Everhart has had her dog, Mr. Tipps, for over a decade — and he is even registered as her service dog. So when Mr. Tipps went missing back in March, Everhart was naturally devastated. But it’s what one shelter has done after taking in the dog that has left Everhart truly heartbroken.
Friends for Animals of Metro Detroit adopted out her dog to another family and now says that there’s nothing they can do to reunite the dog mom with her pooch. Mr. Tipps wasn’t microchipped, and after being on a stray hold, was put up for adoption by the shelter.
Once the adoptive family learned that their dog did, in fact, have a family of his own waiting for him, they refused to return him to Everhart, according to Click on Detroit. What makes the situation even sadder is that Everhart relies on Mr. Tipps to alert her when her blood sugar is off.
“When my sugar would go high he would know before I would,” Everhart told Click on Detroit. “He would lay on my feet, you know, and keep nudging me with his nose.”
Mr. Tipps originally went missing on March 13, when family was in town for the funeral of Everhart’s mother.
“Someone left the door open accidentally and he got out,” she said. “And we were looking for him. It’s not just a pet, you know, he’s part of my family.”
After visiting many nearby animal shelters, searching online, and making signs, Everhart eventually found a Facebook post that led her to the shelter in Dearborn, Michigan. When she rushed inside, employees told her it was too late — and that she couldn’t have her dog back.
“They were kind of cold, like they really didn’t care,” she said.
Click on Detroit spoke with Kim Cross, CEO of the shelter, who told the news station that there was nothing they could do to return the dog to his rightful family.
“We did everything legally,” she told the station. “We held the dog for the legal amount of time, we looked for the owners, and then once the dog is adopted out there’s really nothing we can do.”
Despite being a registered service dog, Mr. Tipps isn’t legally required to be returned to Everhart. Everhart has even offered to pay the adoption fee for the family that has Mr. Tipps to adopt a different dog, but they don’t want to, she said on Facebook.
As of now, Mr. Tipps is still with the other family. Everhart is devastated and hopes they will change their mind eventually.
“I just don’t understand it,” Everhart said. “I don’t understand it at all.”