MELLOTT, Ind. (AP) — An Indiana woman whose dog vanished when a tornado struck her family's home last month says a person who adopted the dog from an animal shelter six days later refuses to return him.
Kyla Robinson's beloved dog, Rosco, went missing Nov. 17 when a tornado badly damaged her family's home in Mellott, a small town 60 miles northwest of Indianapolis, while they were attending a baby shower.
The day after the twister, a man spotted Rosco wandering without tags about 45 miles from home and brought him to the Clinton County Humane Society.
A woman adopted Rosco from the shelter five days later, and she has refused to return him to the Robinsons.
Robinson has been working with an attorney in hopes of getting the canine back. She said her 10-year-old daughter, Madison, is upset that the pooch has been found but can't come home.
"We had something horrible happen to us, and it just sucks that we can't have him home. ... Hopefully these people will have a heart and give him back," Robinson told the Journal & Courier (http://on.jconline.com/IRHqWs ).
The Robinsons learned about Rosco's whereabouts after a neighbor volunteered to help find him in the storm's aftermath by posting information online.
Days after Rosco was adopted, the animal shelter was contacted by a volunteer who saw a missing-dog post about Rosco on Facebook.
Clinton County Humane Society director Jim Tate contacted Kyla Robinson on Dec. 6 and explained that Rosco was fine but had been adopted in accordance with the shelter's policy of holding animals for five days before putting them up for adoption.
He said once an adoption takes place the new owner has legal possession and the shelter has no authority to return the animal to the original owner.
With shelter officials serving as mediators, the two families discussed the idea of sending Rosco back home, but Tate said the woman backed out of a deal that would have reunited Rosco with the Robinsons.
"It's been a crazy situation," he said. "... For the original owner, I totally understand that they want their dog back. ... I would want him back if he was mine. On the other side, the lady who adopted him said he is bonding with the family and is perfect for what she was looking for."
Information from: Journal and Courier, http://www.jconline.com