'Hurricane Harvey' dog found at Maricopa County shelter
Posted September 21, 2017 11:13 a.m. EDT
Maricopa, AZ — It took a big heart, thousands of donated dollars and hours of driving to transport 12 dogs pushed out of Texas because of Hurricane Harvey.
On Wednesday, the good intentions of one would-be adopter triggered a long-distance "game of telephone" to track down what happened to one of those hounds.
Maricopa County Animal Control Center spokesman Jose Santiago says Katana, who was brought to Arizona from Texas, was surrendered by her new owner just two days after taking her home, because she was "too big" and he "couldn't take care of her."
Representatives with "We Support Texas," the organization that helped facilitate adoptions from Superstition Farm last week, was surprised to hear what happened. They also didn't understand why Katana's new owner didn't reach out to them for help.
"With the phone conversations that we had prior to the arrival, with the two hours with the dog integrating it, with the story that we got about the loss of her previous pet, the fit seemed natural," said Brian Morris.
But it wasn't a good fit.
"Unfortunately in this case, we had a situation where a person who had good intentions at first, but it wasn't the right fit for that family and they brought that dog here," said Santiago.
"When I heard Katana had been turned in, it felt like my heart sank. I've been kicked in the gut so I immediately drove down here," said Morris who was heartbroken.
He said the other 11 rescued Texas dogs found loving homes and hasn't heard of any issues. The organization just wanted to help animals.
The farm manager also showed up at the shelter today. She brought the proper paperwork and took the dog back to the farm.
Santiago said the shelter was able to trace the dog's origins thanks to a microchip.
A spokesperson with the pet rescue in Texas told 3TV/CBS 5 Katana was already in their care before the hurricane hit. Katana was one of the dogs moved out to make room for other dogs affected by Hurricane Harvey.
Santiago praised people for wanting to give these dogs a good home, but reminded this situation serves as good reminder adopting a dog shouldn't be taken lightly.
"The main message here is do your homework when you're doing an adoption. Make sure you're asking the questions about behavior and where the dog possibly may have come from and really realize this is a lifelong commitment for this animal," said Santiago, who stressed the Maricopa County shelter is already overcrowded.
"The last thing we want people to do is adopt and animal and return it to a shelter environment."
He added, "A lot of folks had big hearts when they heard about Hurricane Harvey. They wanted to help in any way, shape and form and we have a lot of animal lovers out there."
"We want to make sure when you're making that commitment, it's a lifelong commitment," said Santiago.