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Rescued Dog Back With Owner

By Staff | Aug 2, 2017

A great deal of controversy has surrounded the recovery of a dog, from the Ohio River, a few weeks ago.

According to Rosie Cozart, of the Wetzel County Animal Shelter, she received a call on July 3, 2017, from the Paden City Police Department, who told her a dog had been found by a boater, in the middle of the river. The dog had been taken to Mountain Valley Veterinary Clinic.

Cozart said the shelter personnel went to the vet office, paid the bill, and picked up the dog. She said Dr. Shaun Meckley’s office had conducted a physical exam on the dog, which had a very severe ear infection, which was treated.

“When we got it to the shelter, we treated the dog with antibiotics, cleaned its eyes and ears daily, and the dog began to show improvement in it’s sight. At first it couldn’t see at all,” said Cozart.

Cozart said shelter staff would walk back and forth in front of the kennel with their shoes off so the dog couldn’t hear them, and it started seeing them and following them with its eyes, which was a great improvement. She said the dog’s eyes had been crusted over when they first got it, and was not in good shape; however the dog started gaining weight and began to walk more on a leash everyday, to the point it could walk the circle at the 4-H grounds, (the half circle where they normally walk the dogs).

Cozart said the shelter did get the dog the same day it was taken to the vet. The shelter kept it for 16 days before the owner came forward and picked it up. Cozart said they had to give the dog back because the person did prove to be the owner.

Paden City Police Chief Bob Kendle said when the dog was discovered, it was hypothermic and had wandered off from its home. The officer, who went to the river to pick up the dog, called Kendle and asked what to do next. Kendle had told the officer to take the dog to Dr. Meckley’s office.

According to Kendle and Cozart, they did not know of any efforts by the owners to report the dog missing, and it wasn’t posted on Facebook to be missing, as far as they knew.

Kendle said, after about three weeks, the police posted the information, concerning the dog, on Facebook. Within 30 minutes, the owner called them.

“We were prepared to charge the owner with cruelty to animals but she came up with paperwork, which showed us where she’d been taking the dog to a vet and having medicine for it and everything else. It’s an old dog, about 15-years-old and it’s blind,” said Kendle.

Kendle said he talked to the prosecutor who made a decision to, since the owner could show she’d been taking care of the dog to the best of her ability, give the dog back.

Wetzel County Prosecutor Tim Haught said that when the police department notified him, and told him the owner had proof she had given the dog meds and taken it to the vet, he advised them to return the dog to the owner. However, Haught wanted to specificy that the dog is from Tyler County and his office really had no jurisdiction in the matter. Tyler County, which doesn’t have a dog shelter, should have taken responsibility. Haught also advised the Paden City Police department to follow up with the owner to make sure the dog is receiving the proper care.

Cozart said she was disappointed with the outcome, because she had found a good home for the dog. She said she had found a home with responsible people who had the resources financially to give the dog the proper love and care it deserves.