Sad dog sagas mar Hillsborough’s adoption success


HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — Described as a “happy, wiggle-butt girl,” Nicole, a terrier came in to Hillsborough County Pet Resources Center as a stray in October 2015.

Nine days later she was adopted. Unfortunately, in just two and a half months, Nicole was back as a stray again.

“All they care about is that the paws are out the door,” said Tamar Barry. Tamar runs a Facebook page called Rescue Me Tampa, which profiles animals in the shelter.

“Well, if that animal came back as a stray, our system did not work the way it was supposed to,” PRC director Scott Trebatoski admitted.

Nicole was adopted out again, but three weeks later, picked up as a stray, she was back.

“Shortly after she came back the third time, she started fighting and biting other dogs and she became rescue only, which is appropriate,”Tamar said.

According to trainer Victoria Parker, that type of constant shifting is incredibly traumatic and destabilizing for a dog.

“For me I don’t find it particularly surprising that her behavior is deteriorating because she was getting more and more anxious and more and more frustrated each time she was brought back,” said Victoria.

A Jacksonville rescue arranged another adoption to a family with a dog. Within days Nicole was back. She bit the dog and a child. Nicole was placed in quarantine and then euthanized.

“She was ruined from all that shuffling around,” stated Tamar.

According to director Scott Trebatoski, P.R.C. adoption policies are in line with national best practices and standards. Last week, he reported to county commissioners that the live release rate is now at 89 percent.

“Those numbers are being manipulated by sending these dogs out to crappy places, by not screening adopters,” Tamar pointed out.

And here’s an example of what she’s talking about. Jilly Bean and Lucky, two puppies touted on P.R.C.’s web page on April 21st as successfully adopted for 20 bucks apiece. The next day, they were for sale on line for $100 dollars each.

“I don’t think they were asked the question, are you going to re-sell these pets, nor do I think they would have answered it honestly anyway if that was their intention,” Scott Trebatoski said. “And so I don’t think there is a way to weed out every person who is going to re-sell it.”

Tamar Barry and others believe better screening would help.WHAT OTHERS ARE CLICKING ON RIGHT NOW:

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