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Cape citizen at odds with LCAS over dog

By Staff | Apr 24, 2009

Lee County Animal Services’ policies have left a Cape Coral woman and her family heartbroken.
“Pretty,” a Pomeranian mix that strayed April 16, was picked up by animal control and then adopted by new owners in just three days when her owner, Lori Hamilton, could not provide enough information to prove ownership.
Unable to find Pretty, Hamilton decided to go to Lee County Animal Services to look for the dog. En route to the facility over the weekend, she was in an accident at a Cape Coral Bridge toll booth that caused her truck to flip over.
Following a hospital visit, Hamilton made it to the Animal Services building in Fort Myers on Monday, only to find out that Pretty had been adopted.
Now, Hamilton thinks Animal Services is not being forthcoming with her dog.
“Somebody at the shelter wants the dog and is bending the rules to keep my dog,” she said. “I’m sure somebody in there wants my dog.”
Hamilton claims that when she visited the building on Monday, she saw the Pomeranian but was unable to take Pretty home because the dog had already been adopted.
Hamilton admits that she had no paperwork to prove Pretty belonged to her, but stated the dog was wearing identification tags. She also said she does not have any veterinarian record.
Hamilton has owned the dog for just under year.
Ria Brown, Lee County Animal Services public information officer, said the animal was picked up April 16 but was not wearing a tag.
According to law, an animal without tags stays at Lee County Animal Services for three days, then is available for adoption.
Brown denied that Lee County Animal Services is involved in a conspiracy to keep the Pomeranian. She said the person who adopted the dog is “not associated with LCAS in any way.”
“It’s one of those unfortunate things that happen from time to time. That’s why it’s important to have the pets licensed,” Brown said. “She’s not the first person who could not prove she owned her own dog.”
She added that Lee County Animal Services did reach out to the new owners and asked if they would be willing to return the dog to Hamilton.
The new owners declined to return the dog.
Hamilton said she would be willing to pay the new owners for the dog’s return.
“If they can still contact the new owner, I’m willing to buy her back from them,” she said. “I just want her to come home.”