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Rural Charles City dog owner says neighbor took his dog to Humane Society, who then gave it away

Lynn Berding with his (former) dog, Jack, who was brought to PAWS and then given away
Lynn Berding with his (former) dog, Jack, who was brought to PAWS and then given away

CHARLES CITY – A rural Charles City dog owner is distraught as he claims the PAWS Humane Society in Charles City took in his dog and gave it away to a Minnesota couple.

A male Vizsla dog named “Jack” was taken to the PAWS Humane Society in Charles City on March 25, 2016, where the dog stayed for a number of weeks while the owner – Lynn Berding of rural Floyd county – and others searched for him.

Apparently, a neighbor of Mr. Berding would occasionally pick up Jack and bring him back to Mr. Berding’s rural Floyd county home. Finally, according to associates of Mr. Berding, the neighbor took Jack to PAWS (which apparently follows Charles City ordinances for lost or stray animals). Mr. Berding’s associates claim his neighbor does not live in Charles City or Floyd county. They also say “she did know that was Jack’s home because she would either call Lynn to come get Jack from the kennel she would put him in at her house or drop him off and chat with Lynn.”  They also provided a screenshot photo of a conversation they claim was with a PAWS volunteer in which she “flat out says they knew the dog was not stray.”

According to a statement on their social media site, after Jack was brought in, PAWS gave the dog a new name (“Breyer”), gave the dog shots, and held it for a number of weeks before giving it away to new owners.  These people live in Minnesota, NIT is told.

Now, Mr. Berding wants “Jack” back.  A Facebook page has been set up by Mr. Berding’s family to get answers and bring Jack home.

According to that page: “We never thought that someone would take a dog from out in the country into a city shelter. We didn’t even know PAWS existed until about a week ago. My Dad (Lynn Berding) searched every where around his property, including the neighbors house who took Jack. One night after talking to my Dad on the phone and having him tell me about how down he was my wife and I started doing more research and found PAWS and the adoption post on their FB page. There was no record of Jack on their site, no record of Jack be up for adoption on FB, and they did not put him in the paper like they said they did. My Dad looked at the library all the way back through the middle of March. The only place he may have been listed is Petfinder and even then I doubt that. It seems so stupid and obvious now that we didn’t call the police but that doesn’t mean we didn’t look for him. It doesn’t mean we didn’t care. And it sure as heck doesn’t excuse the fact that they took in Jack knowing he wasn’t a stray.”


Statement from PAWS Humane Society in Charles City on this matter:

A Vizsla entered our shelter on March 25, 2016. He had a collar on with no tags and no microchip indicating who he belonged to. Like normal Paws protocol he was dewormed, started on a flea preventative, and given a name, Breyer.

After 7 days of no phone calls to the shelter or the Charles City Police Department for a missing Vizsla, Breyer officially became a Paws dog and we posted his picture and description on our website and Pet Finder page in hopes of finding him a new family. In this time, he was also vaccinated for rabies, distemper, Bordetella, and microchipped. It was discovered during his veterinary exam that he tested positive for Lyme’s disease. (This could have been prevented with proper vaccinations and preventative) He was also neutered before adoption – the healing process is longer for larger, older dogs, and often times the incision site swells.

3 weeks later a family approached us interested in giving him a forever home (NOTE: apparently in Minnesota). They underwent the interview process and it was a perfect fit for Breyer to get a second chance. During those 3 weeks Breyer was at the shelter, no one was approached about him having a previous home.

Below is an excerpt from the Charles City Code of Ordinances, 55.12 Impounding Animals – Paragraph 2. This code can be found on the City of Charles City website:

A. Notice. Within two business days after impounding an animal, notice shall be given to its owner (if the owner’s name and current address can be reasonably determined form a tag or other devices that is on or part of the animal) by ordinary mail, that the owner’s animal may be reclaimed by payment of the costs associated with care and treatment of the animal as set forth herein. Notice shall be deemed to be received by the owner three business days after the date that the notice is deposited for delivery in the US Mail. If the owner does not reclaim its animal within seven days (1 week) after receiving notice, then the owner shall forfeit all ownership rights to the animal and it may thereupon be placed for adoption with another owner or euthanized, at the discretion of the City or its designated representative.
C. Animals Not Eligible for Reclamation.
3. Dogs which have not been reclaimed within the 7 day notice period described in Paragraph 1(A) of this subsection, except that dogs which have not displayed aggressive conduct and which are eligible for adoption but have not been placed for adoption within the 7 day period, may be released to the owner at the discretion of the City or its designated representative upon payment by the owner of all costs associated with the care and impoundment of the dog.

Since its establishment in 2000 Paws Humane Society has adopted out over 2800 dogs and cats into forever homes. Before the shelter was established, all dogs and cats picked up were held for 7 days and then euthanized. Humane society statistics state that 25% of the dogs that enter local shelters are purebred. The Paws Humane Society currently has over 50 active volunteers who put countless hours caring for the animals, cleaning cages, socializing them, transporting animals for vet care, helping with adoption events, and fundraising for our cause. All of our animals are vaccinated, microchipped, spayed/neutered before adoption unless they are too young in which then the adopter signs a contract.

This is an example of the importance of keeping your dog at home (or unable to run at large), microchipped, wearing ID, and registered with the City if living in city limits.

Alleged conversation with a PAWS volunteer
Alleged conversation with a PAWS volunteer
Vet record for Jack, from Lynn Berding
Vet record for Jack, from Lynn Berding
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