Can you imagine your worst nightmare involving one of your beloved dogs? How about your worst nightmare involving a beloved champion? What about your worst nightmare involving the very people who should have helped turn that nightmare into a happy ending?
A week after the collie nationals, the American Shetland Sheepdog Club held their national specialty in St. Louis, Missouri. A dog was lost while that specialty was underway. I’m not talking about the tri boy who got away from his people at Purina Farms, because that nightmare had a very happy ending. He was found about a week after the Sheltie Nationals—hungry, thirsty, a little thin and with a few hitch-hikers of the external parasitic types—but he is fine and is with his owner as I write. I’m talking about a dog which was left with a pet sitter in Ohio while her owner was in Missouri, got out of a fenced yard, was picked up by the local humane society, and was taken in after three days by a local breed rescue, run by a woman named Penny Sanderbeck.
Nightmare over for Piper and her owner, right?
This rescue, which was supported by the local specialty clubs, supported by the parent club, has refused to give Piper back to her rightful owners. Piper’s owner bred, whelped, and had Piper shown by a top handler. She tried to get Piper back and was stonewalled. She offered to present proof of AKC registration, offered to pay for a DNA test on Piper to prove Piper is indeed Piper, offered to have the handler who showed Piper to her championship identify Piper. Nothing was good enough for Penny. In desperation, Piper’s owner called friends in the area to try to get Piper. A mediator from the parent club attempted to get Piper returned to her owner—all to no avail.
Attorneys are now involved, or so it’s my understanding.
This whole situation is wrong on so many levels that it makes my head spin. Penny Sanderbeck has pulled down her web site, shut down her Facebook page, will not go to meet and greets—all because she said she has been “harassed” by people who want her to do the right thing and return Piper to her breeder/owner. Supposedly, Ms. Sanderbeck also stated that because of the harassment, she was not returning Piper. SAY WHAT???????
Now, I’m not suggesting that anyone contact Ms. Sanderbeck and try to convince her to return Piper. As a matter of fact, I am begging people NOT TO DO THAT! But, I am asking that you go to http://www.gofundme.com/941kuk and make a donation to Piper’s fund. None of us should have to mount a protracted and expensive legal battle to get one of our beloved dogs back from a rescue, not when that dog was positively identified through the use of a microchip (the shelter that held her for three days made an attempt—on Good Friday afternoon—to contact the veterinarian who implanted the chip and is Piper’s veterinarian), not when so many people were urging this “rescue” to do the right thing and return Piper, not when Piper’s owner was willing to undergo the expense of a DNA test to prove that was her dog.
If you want to read more about Piper and how these events unfolded (and hopefully will still unfold with a
happy resolution for Piper and her breeder/owner), here are several links.
This was written by Animal Legal Resources, LLC in response to Piper’s theft – https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=702894946438596&id=150005925060837&fref=nf
Article written by The Examiner regarding Piper- http://www.examiner.com/article/when-rescue-goes-wrong
Please keep Piper and her breeder/owner, Veronica Covatch, in your thoughts and prayers. If you can afford to, send Piper’s legal fund a few dollars. Every little bit helps. And pray that the legal system will get Piper back where she belongs. Veronica has waited long enough to get her baby home. This has gone on long enough.