Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Lost Dog - Animal Control Blows It

Corbin is a beautiful male Rhodesian Ridgeback, whose owner, Jesse, is a soldier who has served twice in Iraq.

Last October, Corbin ran scared from a friend's house in Tuscon, AZ. Phone calls to shelters and other routes came back empty. Corbin was chipped, but that wasn't of help, either. Jesse, who lives in Phoenix, spends every weekend checking shelters and following up leads.

Local Utahns have been involved with the search for Corbin, including his breeder, Erin Coogan, and Beth Lockhart, who has made 2 trips to Tuscon to help find Corbin.

On January 6, Beth hit the shelters again, and was told there hadn't been any Ridgebacks in. When she pushed them, she was told about a Rhodesian Ridgeback found in the area (Irvington and Pantano) on November 25.

The Humane Society won't give her the information for the person who had called in the sighting, but they did try to call the person, and got no answer.

So, Beth headed over to the Pima Animal Care and Control to see if they had the same report about the Ridgeback. After some begging and pleading, they confirmed the same report on the same day.

So, Jesse called the Humane Society to beg for the caller's information. He was told that they had no such report of a Ridgeback. Apparently, that didn't make Jesse too happy, and he pushed. So, they found the information and wound up giving him a phone number.

They used reverse lookup to find the address, and Beth headed over to check it out.

They were able to confirm through pictures that it was Corbin, who had lived with the family for almost 3 weeks before goign missing again in the middle of December. Apparently, the family never took him in to check for a microchip, because they figured if the owner was looking, animal control would call.

Except no one called them. The family reported having found Corbin to Humane Society and animal control, and Jesse reported missing Corbin to these same places. Why didn't these places connect the dots?

There were ads placed on CraigsList and PennySaverUsa before Christmas about a dog having been found in this exact area, who is brown with gold eyes, a mohawk and a green collar, but apparently they were deleted. Erin was able to send an email to them before the ads were deleted, but has heard nothing. (Rhodesian Ridgebacks have a line of hair down their back that grows differently and so it stands up - that's the "mohawk")

So, we have a soldier, who is waiting for his dog to return home, instead of the other way around.

This is really sad, and I pray that Jesse and Corbin will be reunited soon. It's awful that both animal control and the Humane Society would let this slip through their fingers.

Dax and I have been trying to find a Rhodesian Ridgeback to adopt, and they are rather hard to find. There aren't many breeders for them, and they are very large dogs. If they aren't given training, they aren't happy dogs and can cause a lot of trouble. But, when they are given training, and lots of love, they are amazing creatures.

One thing I've found, since we've tried the Rhodesian Ridgeback Rescue and local shelters to find a puppy, is that there aren't a lot of stray Ridgebacks out there. They are very loyal animals, and I think that because of their expense, and the fact that their breeders usually take lifelong responsibility for them, most Ridgebacks that don't stay in their original homes go back through the Ridgeback Rescue or their breeders to find new homes. And breeders aren't likely to let their pups go to just anyone.

Doesn't the shelter, or at least animal control, have any sort of obligation to come check the dog out? It seems very unjust that an animal that was micro-chipped would have a tale such as this one.

If anyone reads this and has information about Corbin, please contact Erin Coogan of Aegis Rhodesian Ridgebacks. Her web site will have the latest information.


  1. Patti05:02

    Has Corbin been found yet?

  2. I don't think so. I will update here if/when I find out that he has been found.

  3. Misty,

    I know this is going to be an unsatisfying answer, but here it is.

    Most organizations, and especially shelters are swamped. Salt Lake for example, between WVC shelter, SLCO Animal services alone there are tens of thousands of animals that come through the doors. Combine that overflow with usually inadequate funding for the government run shelters it means that situations like these are hard to solve.

    I am sorry that they would not come and check the dog out, but again see above reasons for that. If Corbin made it to the shelter, the microchipping would make a HUGE difference. The family that found him the first time should have been instructed to bring Corbin down to be checked.

    Countless stories are testament that chipping, and a collar with current contact information can make a difference. It is not over for Corbin, and he may well someday be back with Jesse. I have heard stories that years after the dog going missing, chip information that was kept current has meant a reuniting.

    Hopefully if it is some comfort to Jesse, I am sure a wonderful, loved dog like Corbin is surely in someone's home right now.

    P.S. Don't even think about buying a dog (I am glad that you are looking into rescue groups) :P


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