Family loses dog in adoption controversy at Caldwell shelter

Adoption controversy at local shelter.

CALDWELL - A Caldwell family dealing with medical hardships had to make a tough decision about what to do with their new puppy.

Benjamin Wittman's son Michael has several learning disabilities and a heart condition.

"The dog understood that my son has been through so much my son has spent three years of his life trying to survive almost, and that dog understood it," Wittman said.

A couple months ago, the Wittman family lost their home and chose to board their puppy named Diego - first at their local vet. Then on August 30,  they brought him to the West Valley Humane Society. 

"I had him fill out a contract that stated everything that we would take care of the dog until September 8," West Valey Humane Society Interim Executive Director Susan Woodward said. "We were going to charge him $10 a day for a boarding fee."

Wittman claims, however, that out of nowhere Diego was put on the adoption floor at the shelter. 

"She did not reach out to us, she did not call us until she took the dog and said we couldn't get him back," Wittman said.

Woodward says she called Wittman a day after Diego was supposed to be picked up and left a voicemail. 

She also says she called again and got no response.

Wittman said a volunteer at the shelter told him that Diego was up for adoption and would have to pay now to get him back. 

A new family went to the shelter after seeing Diego online. At the same time, Wittman came back with the $150 adoption fee in hand, ready to bring his dog home. 

"They still sold the dog right in front of my son, crying," he said. "I had $150 in cash. I was there before anyone - before they did paperwork or anything." 

Then Woodward says she had to make a tough decision. 

"I felt a 7-month-old puppy deserved a home that wasn't changing every month or so and I made the decision to let him be adopted by the family who wanted to adopt him," she said. "I would do the same thing again." 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2016 KTVB


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