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Old April 1st, 2005, 06:04 PM
bbolte bbolte is offline
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Something very wrong happened!

Hello,
This inquiry, I know, is a long shot, but I am looking for my two dogs that I adopted out a year and a half ago.

I trusted the new owners to take good care of them, however I seem to have been naive in believing they were okay.

I landed on a site that said never to offer your pets "free to a good home" and it listed many horrible reasons as to why not. This discovery scared me so much, I attempted to contact the new owners for peace of mind.

As it turned out, Huxley's (Rhodesian Boxer mix) owner, does not live where he had indicated and his phone number does not exist. Worse, is that he did not leave us with valid contact information in the first place.

Tracey, my other dog who is a boarder collie mix, also went to a family that now does not seem to exist. My partner and I went out to the address provided (they had not offered a phone number bc supposedly their cell phone was damaged) and all that was there (out in the middle of nowhere) was a broken down barn!! Not even a house!!

I am sick with worry and have called the local SPCA and local rescues with no luck. I have called ever D D (Hux's owner) in the 411 directory and every R R (Tracey’s new owner) with no luck. I am really scared for their wellbeing...

I can not believe that I allowed this to happen!!
So, I am hoping by some small chance that someone who knows of these dogs or if their owners could please contact me.

Thank-you so much for any time or effort you might put in to help me… I really am very worried about both of them!!

bbolte25@hotmail.com

If you think you might be able to help me, please email me at the above email and I will give more detailed information about the case.
Thank-you again, so very much!!
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Old April 1st, 2005, 06:16 PM
bbolte bbolte is offline
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Part 2: The story of something very wrong...

Hi everyone, just to warn you this is going to be a long post...
On another forum someone had asked why I gave them up in the first place; so for your information as well, if you would like to know most of the story keep reading below:

I struggle with guilt and regret everyday about that thought, especially now that I can not find them.

Are you ready for a long story?

The story starts with the fact that Huxley is what one would consider a special needs dog. Normally, this would not be a problem for me as I have an innate need to help all living creatures (part of my moral makeup I guess); As it is I am presently a foster parent for cats and am even having a hard time letting them go (being very protective).

Huxley came into my little family’s life (my partner, two cats and I) at the age of four months. A co-worker, at the time, was desperate to find someone to take him in (They had named him Jack). He was found at the age of one month in a ditch near a reserve in Northern Ontario. The person who had found him did not want to bring him into the local shelter as it was a kill shelter, so he had decided to bring him into the workplace where my co-worker had her second job.

Jack then for three months stayed at this office building and on weekends employees were taking turns taking him home. All the while the original person who found him was looking for a permanent home. Even though none of the employees were able to take him in I was very impressed with the amount of care they were attempting to provide him.

I guess the situation of this particular business was that it was seasonal, so the office was going to be shutting down; therefore the hunt for a permanent home for Huxley was getting desperate. At that point all the employees were looking for a permanent home for Jack, including my co-worker. When it was mentioned to me I immediately wanted to help, so with a little reluctance from my partner, him and I went to visit Jack at the office.

The minute I saw his kind, happy eyes and awkward gait as he ran towards us to greet his company I was in love. I was not going to leave without him.

Now financially it was irresponsible of me to take him on, as I am a student and owning a pet (this would now be three with my other two babies) is very expensive. But, they were desperate and they trusted me, knowing my values of beneficence and non-maleficence. I am the type of person who would work until my back broke once placed with the responsibility to care for someone.

Well, we took Jack in and almost immediately renamed him Huxley... I guess it was something we felt we had to do so that he could start a new chapter in his life.

Soon after, the next day, we learned that he had a very serious case of separation anxiety. So severe the vet had recommended that we have him put down! I was so upset!! I was not going to give up on Huxley at all!! So here I started my exhaustive amount of research in an attempt to cure this behavioural problem. We tried what we felt was everything, but it was no use. Huxley is an excellent dog, everyone who meets him falls in love with him, we just could not leave him alone.

Over the course of six months he cost us thousands of dollars in house repairs due to damage he had done and training we had attempted and gadgets and special crates and herbal remedies and vet bills and homeopath bills and so on and so on...Ultimately we had started paying for fulltime babysitters while we were at work... my partner's parents were pressuring us to be ‘reasonable’ and give up on him.

I still refused to give up on him. On another trip to the vets he suggested one last idea and that was to find him a friend. We contemplated this, but were worried about the added cost. After considering it for awhile we decided how could we not, seeing as the cost as it was not going to decrease anytime soon.

So Hux, my partner and I all piled in the care and went to the local SPCA. We were able to allow Hux to play with the dogs there. In the end this landed us with Tracey. Tracey played very well with Hux, however she had been in and out of shelters for quite sometime. We were told she was only 6 months old, but later found out when we went to have her spade that she looked to be more like two years old. This explained a lot, as Tracey, once out of the shelter, had truly no interest in Hux. She was actually more interested in finding her way to freedom. Being a very free spirit; she was always looking for ways to run away, ultimately not fixing our problem. But, now I had two dogs with special needs, and I was not going to give up on either of them.

To attempt to shorten up my long story, My partner and I had moved 18 hours away from our original location, for various personal reasons and school. This had placed us at the mercy of my partner’s parents for part of the summer. So, his parents again were very encouraging to have us find an alternative for our pups. I understand that they felt they were being practical and looking out for our best interests, but I still held a bit of resentment. After persistent pressure I VERY reluctantly said that we could find new homes for them, but I had put up strict guidelines as to who was going to take them. Like the fact that Hux’s new family had to have someone home virtually all the time, and Tracey needed to be in the country with the entire yard surrounded by a fence that she would not be able to clear (it would need to be at least 5 1/2 feet)

Because, my partner and I were in the process of completing our move we had left the interviewing instructions with his parents and trusted their judgment for the occasions that we would not be around (looking for a place to live). I did trust his parent’s completely as they are very caring individuals.

It would have been wonderful if the parents would have taken them, at least for a little while until we could find a suitable place for all of us to live. At the same time, I guess it would be unfair for us to expect people to have the same passion for special needs and be willing to full heartedly take on the challenge as we did. However, his Mom did want Huxley, but Dad said no way.

So… for the most part this brings me up to present day where I am frantic, especially because I did not follow up sooner with how they were doing. It took forever for me to convince myself that I had done the right thing and that they would be happier in more suited homes. After all D D had said he was a farmer and that Huxley would be the perfect sidekick/friend. He had said he was single and spent virtually all of his time on the farm, so Huxley would rarely if ever be left alone. But, I am guessing from the enormous story we put out in the local/surrounding paper about Hux and Trace and who we were looking for as adoptive parents, just enabled them to come up with good stories. I am heart broken….
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Old April 1st, 2005, 06:54 PM
Lucky Rescue Lucky Rescue is offline
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This is very sad for those poor dogs. This is one of the sites where I stress NEVER to give animals away for free, although there is a lot of resistance to that idea.

Thorough screening, home checks, references and an adoption fee combine to give the animals the best chance at a good home.

Otherwise, the animals may be sold to experimental laboratories or even worse. Dogs with severe behavioral problems can suffer fates worse than death. :sad:
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Old April 1st, 2005, 07:28 PM
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I hope you find the answers you are looking for but if you don't please don't live out your days assuming the worst. Do however continue to look. Where are you located? Ontario is pretty big.
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Old April 1st, 2005, 10:41 PM
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This is a very sad story, I truly hope you do find both of your dogs and know they are happy, heathly well loved and cared for. Good Luck
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Old April 2nd, 2005, 10:22 AM
bbolte bbolte is offline
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Communicating my sorrow

Quote:
Originally Posted by LuckyRescue
This is very sad for those poor dogs. This is one of the sites where I stress NEVER to give animals away for free, although there is a lot of resistance to that idea.

I can't imagine why there would be any resistance. Coming from painful experience, my ignorance could have cost these two their lives or worse (as you mentioned)

Thorough screening, home checks, references and an adoption fee combine to give the animals the best chance at a good home.

I agree absolutely!! In my ignorant trust for human kindness I have failed those of whom can not protect themselves.

A side note: You know it is funny, though I am devastated, I worry more for Huxley than I do Tracey; I always felt Tracey could take care of herself. She is very much an alpha dog, we used to fight every night for at least two hours for bed space... she just seemed to [I]know... street smarts were her of her qualities, but in thinking of Huxley... He is the epitome of trust all he ever wanted was love and acceptance, he is such a good good spirit. He would have gone home with anyone... completely oblivious... it is so hard for me to imagine someone not falling in love with him.

Otherwise, the animals may be sold to experimental laboratories or even worse. Dogs with severe behavioral problems can suffer fates worse than death. :sad:
I am learning more and more as I delve further and further into researching this, but in reading your words I cant help the tears from welding up in my eyes...
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Last edited by bbolte; April 2nd, 2005 at 10:26 AM. Reason: I m just learning how to use quotes... I wanted to respond to individual comments, but when I posted my comments looked as though they were part of lucky's quote
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Old April 2nd, 2005, 10:25 AM
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bbolte..I can fully understand how you feel,looking at their pictures,not knowing brought me to tears :sad:
I guess what's done is done,their fate is in other peoples hands,obviously not very truthful people
Maybe putting their pics in the paper would bring the owners forward...
It's very sad,for the dogs and you,guilt-feelings will tear at you,but if you get no answers you'll have to go on and you'll have learned,never,ever to give an animal away to strangers for free...
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Old April 2nd, 2005, 06:17 PM
bbolte bbolte is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twodogsandacat
I hope you find the answers you are looking for but if you don't please don't live out your days assuming the worst. Do however continue to look. Where are you located? Ontario is pretty big.
Thank-you for your kind wishes. I feel I will have a harder time with finding Tracey (if at all) than Huxley. Huxley's owner at least existed (we think), but when we tried to track him down we were unable to. He had said he lived on a farm, but the only one by his name in the area lived in an apartment building. We were unable to get ahold of even this guy... but are still trying.

Tracey's new owners as I think I had mentioned purposely gave us an address that lead us out to the middle of nowhere. The 911 number on the rural road was a broken down barn.

We are in the London area. Huxley was adopted out to farm country in the Stratford area, and Tracey was supposedly going to be living in and around the Kincardine area (farm country as well).
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Last edited by bbolte; April 2nd, 2005 at 06:25 PM. Reason: The picture took up too much space
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Old April 2nd, 2005, 07:05 PM
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I'm an expert at finding people (I'm a private investigator). If you send me a private message with as much info as you can about these people that you got, I can see if I can track them down for you!
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Old April 2nd, 2005, 08:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbolte
Tracey was supposedly going to be living in and around the Kincardine area (farm country as well).
I can give my sister a call as she lives in Ripley(on a farm) and works in Kincardine.(lived on a farm in Kincardine)I will email her a pic of Tracey.

I agree with chico when she said if you don't find your answers,you will have to go on.It's sad,but it's the truth.


I wish you all the luck finding them.
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Old April 3rd, 2005, 03:41 AM
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CyberKitten CyberKitten is offline
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I am not a pi - sounds like a very fun job tho -IF you actually had their real names, they ae likely tracable in some manner. Once a co-worker excitedly informed she had found a great home for ALL five of her family new kittens (it was a stary act already pregnant). I asled about the new family and she explained how one man showed up and thought all ive were lovely and adroble and all the other appropriate adectives and he "took them all". Naturally (sighhhhhhhhhhh!), they were "free to a good home". I suspect he was a bouncher (sp?) and her sweet kittens are either dead or being experiemnted on by some lab!! Or esle they were snake food!

Even though she is fairly well educated (a couple of univ degrees), she was so innocent about all of this. And I suspect she is not alone. I KNOW she is not!

I hope your dogs found a better fate - and you never know - some people really do want a dog and care for them well. It just seems there are so many more characters out there, sigh!!

best of luck in finding them!!
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Old April 3rd, 2005, 10:53 AM
bbolte bbolte is offline
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Thank-you for all your help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mona_b
I can give my sister a call as she lives in Ripley(on a farm) and works in Kincardine.(lived on a farm in Kincardine)I will email her a pic of Tracey.

I wish you all the luck finding them.

Thank-you so much for your help and kind words. I will send you a private email with Tracey's supposed owner's info.
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Old April 3rd, 2005, 11:11 AM
bbolte bbolte is offline
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Everyone is so helpful: Thank-you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by CyberKitten
I am not a pi - sounds like a very fun job tho -IF you actually had their real names, they are likely traceable in some manner.

best of luck in finding them!!
Yeah, the real name thing, I am not sure about.

I think that I would like to give Huxley's owner the benefit of the doubt. When I learned that his phone number no longer existed we tracked down an address that had a person with his name in an apartment building (only eight or so apartments), so we literally went to this small town and banged on all the doors of the apartment. No luck, but there was one apartment that had no answer, so I can cross my fingers.

I was just saying to Mona_b that when the weather is nicer (and my exams are over) I will definitely be heading back out that way (to farm country) to knock on doors and do some serious leg work (like hit up small town vets and visit addresses of people with the same name)

Tracey's owners have a name (though I think they just gave us that name ~ it's not really theirs) that is like Smith, there are tons of them. But again, I don't want to give up. We had gone to another in-town (a different town) address for Tracey as well with no luck.

thank-you, again for your concern!
It's very heart warming to see so many care.
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Last edited by bbolte; April 3rd, 2005 at 11:28 AM. Reason: I wasnt finished; didnt realize that hitting enter would send the post. Sorry still learning.
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Old April 3rd, 2005, 11:23 AM
Lucky Rescue Lucky Rescue is offline
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Quote:
He had said he lived on a farm, but the only one by his name in the area lived in an apartment building.
That is so typical - people promising idyllic homes for dogs on farms. They can be very convincing, since some of them make a living this way. Unless you go to this Utopia and see it for yourself, don't believe it. Anyone who is sincere will welcome your visit.

I hope anyone reading this and thinking of rehoming their pet will:

Do a home check
Prepare a contract
Get references and check them
Charge an adoption fee

This way you can be much surer that this extremely upsetting and sad situation won't happen to your pets.
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Old April 3rd, 2005, 11:41 AM
bbolte bbolte is offline
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Free to a good home: Extremely bad idea!!

Thank-you LuckyRescue:

You are so right and I too urge everyone who reads this thread to seriously reconsider 'free to a good home' if that was the plan.
Regrettably, going on simple acts of trust does not guarantee love and safety for your pets... as you all know I have so brutally learned

Lucky, your list of what to do for adoption planning is so very important.
I am volunteering as a foster parent ( I think I already mentioned this) and am learning so much. Ignorance is certainly NOT a virtue.
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Old April 4th, 2005, 12:35 PM
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I am so very sorry to hear about your babies! I hope you find them or hear good new real soon!
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Old April 4th, 2005, 02:15 PM
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CyberKitten CyberKitten is offline
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I wish you luck in your search! If you need any tech assistance (nothing illegal tho - I won't hack into anyone's database if it is not authorized ), let me know. I also know several students who possess excellent cyber search skills. (Maybe you do tho )
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Old April 4th, 2005, 04:15 PM
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Shamrock Shamrock is offline
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I'm so sorry to hear of this very upsetting situation you have encountered.
I would just like to wish you good luck in your search. My heart goes out to you, I just cant imagine how terrible this would be. :sad:
I hope your dogs will located, and you will find a postive outcome.

The "free to a good home" is a pet peeve of mine. I've called strangers on the phone and sent them emails. Some were receptive.. some were not.
I wrote a Forum article on this very topic. "Ten Do's and Donts of Rehoming".

I cringe every single time a 'free" pet ad appears anywhere.
I've also wondered why the local newspapers even carry such listings, and if there is any way to prevent the word "free' from appearing.
Its the beacon that attracts the triflers, the unscrupulous and the con people with their own agenda for your cherished pet.
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Old April 5th, 2005, 02:33 PM
bbolte bbolte is offline
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Thank-you all for your kind words of encouragement! I will keep looking!
I agree that the newspapers should not allow such a thing to be printed. In denying this option it may raise awareness.
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Old April 5th, 2005, 09:21 PM
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Just to let the others know,I talked to my sister and sent a pic of Tracey.bbolte has told me the area,and I know where it is.Passed it a hundred times.They will check it out and also find out if this person really lives there.I'm sure my nephews will help out in the search.I have also said that this person may have lied.I'm talking about the name and location.

So,we will take it from there and see what she comes up with.
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Old April 6th, 2005, 12:21 PM
lma1524 lma1524 is offline
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Free to good home

Hi: Once you found out these people were not who they presented themselves to be, they obtained these animals under fraudulent circumstances, I'd suggest you report this incident to your local police or those in the area that these adopters said they were from.

In the need to stamp out illegal dog fights, any information pertaining to missing dogs and particularly descriptions of persons who show up to adopt them can help in the police endeavours to identity them and thereby link them to others who are involved.

I am not saying that this happened to your dogs but it might help to list all the info you have and forward it to your local police in the event that there have been dog fights in your area, having seen the people adopting they can be identified.

I wish you luck in your endeavours. lma
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Old April 8th, 2005, 09:50 PM
bbolte bbolte is offline
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Again, I just want to thank-you all for your encouragement and kind (hopeful) words. I will keep looking and continue to update this page if I find out anything new. Thank-you all again, ever so much!!
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Old April 9th, 2005, 10:24 PM
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Another thought to help find your pets

Hello and I must admit I'm sorry to hear about your babes. There is perhaps another way to locate the through the vets in the area where they said they lived and all of the outlying areas from there. It is a long shot but most vets are very heplful. Make up something like a flyer with the descriptions of the dogs and anything special about each,even a picture and call each vet for their e-mail and send it off to them. They will print off the information and post it behind the reception desk and check all the time. Perhaps these people are legitimate and a vet has already seen them, and can tell you if they are good people or not.
Hope this gives you another route to try to find out the condition of your babes.
Good Luck and God bless your pets.
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Old April 10th, 2005, 09:06 AM
poodletalk poodletalk is offline
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If you think you know the area your pets were adopted, you should contact their local newspapers. Make it a humanity story and include a picture. Getting articles in a paper, (without paying can be tough), you must call the newspapers and follow up. Put some pressure on the local newspapers, sooner or later they will put your story in the paper.(Of course, space is money so they will edit down) Contact local rescues, pounds, and SPCA'S in that story. Contacting the local vets is a great idea. Do the same with groomers, animal food stores, Along as theirs a bullentin board, put a picture and some details. If you put REWARD, I am sure you will catch more peoples attention. If you can't go to the areas, do some research on the net, (even do a look up on 411) and start emailing stores, vets, etc in that area. Include a picture and contact info. To avoid getting your email deleted, put a catchy subject on the title. LOST DOG! HELP ME FIND MY DOG! something like that. Call the local pounds, rescue groups and get friendly with the people to find out if they heard of these people. If they have done this to you, they must have done this to other people. Expand your search as well, call the vets groomers etc near your partners place. Maybe the people are really from that area. This is just some of my ideas, I hope you find your dogs healthy and happy,
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Old April 10th, 2005, 02:12 PM
bbolte bbolte is offline
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Re: Ideas

Thank-you both for your many suggestions; I am working on most of them. And will be out full force once my last two exams are done (I mean I will be driving out to the local vets). I had not thought of the food stores or groomers...those are both valid ideas, so I will do that too. Presently I am in touch with one of the areas SPCA's unfortunately they have not heard of my dogs. A local rescue in the Lucknow area as well has been keeping an eye out for them, with no luck unfortunately.

I have been calling all the numbers in the 411 Ontario areas that have the same name as these people. It is inconvenient though that their names are very common, making it very frustrating. I can't help, but think that even if I do get the right number who's to say that they won't lie. I mean they lied about location why would they tell the truth (referring mainly to Tracey's new owners) now?

The local paper idea is a great idea too, I will look into doing that as well, I am not sure as to which papers to go with though, so I will have to do some research as to the possibilities.

As far as the phone calling has been going, I have had no luck. But the people I have been calling all have been very sympathetic to my cause, which has been encouraging.

THANKS AGAIN to all who have offered suggestions and shown concern... your support has been very inspiring and has helped to motivate me when I am feeling hopeless...
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Old April 11th, 2005, 10:40 AM
SarahLynn123 SarahLynn123 is offline
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How did you find homes for them in the first place? Its a long shot but if you come up with 2 similar dogs and look for homes the same way you did before maybe they will see the add and come to check them out. Id get a cell phone with a different number and a friends address. Who knows, its worth a try.
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Old May 21st, 2005, 09:58 PM
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That's a good idea SarahLynn123

That's an excellent idea (I'm a new member, and just reading this thread for the first time!).

Why not set them up by re-creating the same scenario in order to lure these people who adopted your dogs. I'm assuming you know what they look like since you must have met them when you handed the dogs to them. Just use different contact information since they already know you, as suggested by SarahLynn - perhaps you can use a friend's phone #/address.

If these people's intentions are questionable, and they make a habit of responding to 'free to a good home ' ads, then chances are, you can hang some 'bait' out for them again and they'll bite. This time be wise about it and think of ways to track them. Who knows - maybe get a picture of them, follow them when they leave (??), maybe even get the police or Humane Society investigators involved if needed...just some abstract thoughts...

It's been about a month since this thread ended - I feel for you...and am wondering if you had any luck in finding out anything?
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Old May 22nd, 2005, 03:58 PM
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I wonder if someone posted an ad in the same paper you did ("Free to a good home") with a similar description - though not you - and if these people show up, you would know. I would think bouchers reply to most ads - if they ask to see dogs, maybe you could show them a friends' dog (tho I shudder to let someone like that even near a dog!!) or simply say the dog is out with your husband/roomate, etc.

Have you made any progress at all in loacting the two dogs?
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  #29  
Old May 24th, 2005, 02:26 PM
bbolte bbolte is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 14
Unhappy No Luck

Hi,
I have had no luck. I appreciate the suggestion, but it sounds extreme. I am not good at deceiving at all. It is not in my nature. I am sure these people would see right through me. The idea scares the pants off me.

My last leg was calling to a couple of local vets that would have been in the area of these people, but both have called back indicating that they have not seen dogs with the description I indicated or have had people with the names I indicated.

Huxley had a micro chip, but nothing has come up with that either.

I'm feeling a little defeated
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  #30  
Old May 24th, 2005, 04:14 PM
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CyberKitten CyberKitten is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: New Brunswick - Nova Scotia
Posts: 4,852
I am sorry to hear you have had no luck!! I really hope the dogs are OK!
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