Home > Animal Rescue, Pet Adoption, Pet News > Where is Wilson?

Where is Wilson?

September 6, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

Last Friday, a friend posted this image and story on my Facebook page.
Picture 82

As I read the urgent plea for someone to adopt Wilson, I couldn’t help but be sad for him. Wilson appeared to be the pawn in some kind of game. I wondered why.

Immediately, a lot of questions ran through my mind. What was the whole story behind this dog? Why did the shelter demand that he be returned to them? What were they planning to do with him? The last two questions were the ones that bothered me most. Having volunteered at a shelter for over 8 years, I know how we reacted when a rescue was able to take one of our dogs – with joy. We always knew that a dog was lucky to get into a rescue. We knew they would be have a better chance at finding a home than any dog left behind in one of our kennels. I just couldn’t understand it. Why would a humane society demand the return of a dog they had adopted out if it was safe in a rescue?

I started reviewing the whole story on the no-kill rescue’s Facebook page. I also spoke with some of those involved. I needed to know more. I wanted to understand what had happened here.

Here are the facts as I know them:

  • The family who had adopted him realized that Wilson was not a good fit for their family and surrendered him to Safe Sanctuary, also in Fairbault. As required, they contacted Prairie’s Edge to let them know.
  • The rescue took Wilson in and fostered him until Thursday, July 3oth when Prairie’s Edge demanded he be returned. According to Safe Sanctuary, Prairie’s Edge claimed that their adoption contract required the owner to return the animal to them. (See Wilson’s Adoption Contract below).
  • At first, Prairie’s Edge Humane Society refused to tell the rescue, and others who asked, what had happened to Wilson and whether he was still with them.
  • On Friday, July 31st, Prairie’s Edge sent an email to Safe Sanctuary informing them that Wilson had been “transferred to a foster home with an organization that works strictly with Collies.” I confirmed this myself when I wrote them to inquire about adopting him. (See my confirmation from Prairie’s Edge and the email posted by Safe Sanctuary below.)
  • Wilson was not placed with the most well-known Collie Rescue group in MN. I confirmed this as well.

So where was he? What had happened to Wilson? If he wasn’t with the only Collie Rescue in the state of MN then where did he go?

I won’t lie. My immediate thought was that the shelter had euthanized Wilson. How could I not? The dog was returned on Thursday, and by the next morning he was gone, supposedly to a Collie Rescue group. I just could not fathom how a rescue group could have gotten him so quickly, especially since it couldn’t be the one in MN. What the hell was going on here?

It was only after Safe Sanctuary involved a lawyer and the police that it discovered Wilson had been given to an out-of-state rescue. One in Iowa. Safe also learned that the shelter did not have a clause in their contract demanding the return of Wilson (I have posted a copy of the contract below.). So if they had no legal right to demand him back, why did they go to such lengths to get him back? They had to have known their contract would give them no legal standing. What was their motivation? Why go to such lengths to get a dog that was already safe in a rescue? None of this made any sense.

After hearing that Wilson was surrendered to a Collie Rescue in Iowa. I did a little research. The only Collie rescue in Iowa appears to be one called Last Hope Collies.  I couldn’t find a lot information on them. They seem to be a part of (or connected to) a completely different rescue group. It is the only Collie rescue listed for Iowa. Could this be the group that had taken Wilson? If so, how did they get someone to transport him to Iowa so quickly? How did they even have the chance to learn about him and come and get him from Prairie’s Edge in less than 24 hours? It not only seemed impossible. It seemed implausible. And yet…

Rumors indicated that Wilson might actually be with this rescue group. Calls were made. Inquiries answered. Safe Sanctuary was finally able to speak with someone from the rescue who said they do have him. And yet, he does not appear on their website under “Available for Adoption.” Maybe they are just waiting for things to die down? I hope so, because I prefer to believe Wilson is alive and in a rescue than the gruesome alternative. I can only hope the rescue will confirm this officially. It would make a whole lot of people feel better, especially the people at Safe Sanctuary. After all, they were forced to give him back, under duress, to a shelter that euthanizes animals. That must have been excruciating to go through, especially given the fact that they are a no-kill rescue. I can only hope they will have some answers soon.

As for me, I still have lots of questions..

If Wilson is indeed with Last Hope Collies, how did he come to be there?

How did Prairie’s Edge come to choose this rescue group?

And, why did Prairie’s Edge choose them when there was a much closer rescue in Minnesota?

What was the connection here?

And, why take Wilson out of a rescue if they only intended to give him to another rescue group?

Things just don’t seem to add up.

I can’t help but wonder what would motivate a shelter to demand the return of a dog they adopted out if they only planned to place him with another rescue. What kind of politics is at play here? Is there a connection between this collie rescue organization and Prairie’s Edge? I wish I knew.

Ultimately, the question still remains… Where is Wilson?

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
PEHS Adoption Contract

Picture 85

Picture 86

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  1. cafall
    September 6, 2012 at 8:57 AM

    I don’t get a warm fuzzy feeling off of this – can someone go and ask for him specifically from the collie rescue?

    Sam

  2. September 6, 2012 at 11:14 AM

    I am perplexed. And glad that you are checking into this. My hackles are raised & I too would like to know what happened to Wilson.

  3. September 6, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    I hope Wilson is safe.. If there’ll be more info, please keep us updated. My thoughts are with you.

  4. To Shea
    September 6, 2012 at 1:05 PM

    I do hope wilson is safe, I believe there is some kind of politics involved here.
    It seems very strange to ship him out of state when he could have stayed with you guys.
    Please keep us posted!!!
    Alex and Penny

  5. September 6, 2012 at 1:46 PM

    For crying out loud! Maybe somebody convinced the Humane Soc. that the Iowa place is really excellent and they took someone’s word that he would be best there, without really knowing much except “Collies.” Maybe someone really wanted him and just hasn’t responded…..

  6. September 6, 2012 at 3:25 PM

    I agree! Why in the world would a kill shelter demand to have a pooch returned when he was safe already. This certainly wasn’t in the best interest of Wilson. No dog wants to be in a kill shelter. Doesn’t make sense.

  7. Jane Lippert
    September 6, 2012 at 3:38 PM

    Why are they making this so difficult?!? If they want to put an end to the bad PR then video Wilson wherever he is now and post it!!! Prove he’s ok, it’s an easy thing to do, it can even be done with a smart phone! Otherwise, what do they have to hide????? We adopted my best friend ever from the Rice County Humane society many (14) years ago and I find this very disheartening.

  8. Robin
    September 6, 2012 at 4:44 PM

    We need to keep fighting and sharing updates until safe has proof where Wilson is and that he is safe!!! Keep the fight for Wilson going!!! If we give up, then that just means its ok for anyone to give up on trying to save our 4 legged family members! It’s not ok with me!!

  9. Jamie
    September 6, 2012 at 4:49 PM

    This is a very interesting story. You pose some great questions but another one I am curious about is what is up with this “no kill rescue” that he was in that the humane society felt so strongly about getting him out of? It just doesnt add up. Like you, I have worked with humane societies before and we were always very excited when a rescue could help 1 of our animals (which was unfortunately not very often) but there were some “rescues” that we avoided at all costs and tried very hard to keep our animals out of.

    This humane society obviously felt strongly about getting this dog out of that no kill “sanctuary” and I may not have the whole story but it sounds like they were being threatened by the rescues supporters and were forced to transfer the dog to another rescue out of state for the safety of all involved? I don’t know, I agree with you that things do not add up but I am not as quick to instantly blame the humane society, they obviously had a reason for doing what they did.

    I just wish rescues and shelters could work together instead of fighting like this. There is a place in the world for both “no kill” and “open door” facilities. The no kills tend to be so full people are forced to go to open doors and when you only have so many kennels, bad decisions need to be made sometimes. No-kills need Open Doors to take the animals they cannot take and Open Doors need No-Kills to help dogs that do not function well in a shelter. If they worked together, the balanced animals that do well in a kennel could stay at the shelter and the more difficult ones could go to a rescue. Teamwork would help more animals than trying to point blame at each other. Seems to be the same story anywhere you look and with any organization, no kills think open door facilities are the devil and that makes it hard for the open door facilities to trust and work with the no kills.

    Either way, people working with rescues and humane societies do it because they love animals and I am sure they did what they felt was best for Wilson (or Winston?) No humane society would pull a dog from a recue to euthanize it, they would wipes their hands free of the dog and let the the rescue deal with it. I hope and bet the humane society had better plans for Wilson/Winston and that is what spurred them into taking him back into their care.

  10. Jamie
    September 6, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    Same as everyone though, in addition to my long comment, I am happy someone is looking into this and I hope you will keep us posted! Fingers crossed for a giant misunderstanding so we can all sit back and trust that the homeless animals are in good hands!

  11. Patty
    September 6, 2012 at 5:27 PM

    For a short period of time we had that relationship with PEHS…they had a couple of women in it for the dogs…sadly they left due to the “politics”….This is not about PEHS its just about one woman who is on a power trip and SAFE is her punching bag….We stand up for the dogs, we are only in this “for the dogs”…we have to be their voices… Wilson was safe here but this person decided to try to make us look bad by lying to get him back…why for sure we don’t know….was it due to a friend who wanted a collie or was it due to SAFE operating in the same city and being successful….or was it due to SAFE being started because of the “politics” of the shelter….who knows….All we want is to know that Wilson is SAFE, that he gets a good home, that this “rescue” has a proper contract that actually states that he has to be returned to them if it does not work out so he never again ends up in a kill shelter and a apology from this person at PEHS for her tactics, treatment and lies….this person seriously needs to find a new calling, running a shelter is NOT where she should be….you need a heart to do that, it has to hurt or your not in the right place….

  12. Patty
    September 6, 2012 at 5:36 PM

    As for SAFE…we are a small foster based rescue….we do not warehouse dogs, we only take in what we can handle, we train the dogs, love the dogs, they live in our homes not in kennels…I’m writing this as 4 mastiff’s and a dane stare at me wondering when I am going to put this down and play with them….I think they all love it here…this is home until they find a perfect home…..is it bad here, come visit….we don’t mind!!!

  13. September 6, 2012 at 7:04 PM

    The truth is, not all shelters are created equal. I have to wonder, too, if it had more to do with the ‘sanctuary’ than the rescue. There is a liability in adopting out a known biter,

    I have a friend who works as a foster parent with a lot of German Shepherds. He’s a fantastic dog guy, and he trained assistance dogs for sixteen years, Last year, he took in a dog as a foster who’d had issues with biting. My friend worked and worked with him and felt very uneasy about placing him with someone, but a woman came along who sounded like she was his perfect adopter. Three days later, the dog had a major backslide and she was afraid of him. The dog went back to the rescue, who called my friend for advice. He told them the dog was dangerous and just too messed up in the head to go to a regular pet family. The next week, he saw the dog listed for adoption on their website, with NO mention of any of his issues, just glowing praise about what a great pet he’d make. My friend was furious. It sets up the dog for huge failure, which he ended up paying with his life, because they did place him and he did bite again.

    The point of my story is that sometimes things aren’t what they appear. Wilson likely has a history that most people don’t know about if he’s been in a shelter twice. The rescue in Iowa may have some fantastic fosters who do know how to deal with Wilson and his issues, and he may need a fresh start. If people from the sanctuary were that critical of the shelter’s decisions, then maybe it was good for Wilson to go somewhere else. I have no idea what his back story is and I doubt that many do. What I do know is that it isn’t fair to a dog who has certain issues to set him up for failure again and again. The dog ALWAYS pays for that, and sometimes others do, too.

    • Mel
      September 6, 2012 at 8:53 PM

      OMG Carrie. That is awful! How negligent of the rescue to put that dog up and not share his history. Wow.

      I agree. The dog does always pay. It’s unfair. That’s what upsets me most about all of this. The dog has been moved around so much. It is also true that we don’t know this dog’s history, but he was adopted out by the shelter to a family with young kids, so he must not have been a liability risk for biting. Or, they would not have adopted him out to them. Safe Sanctuary is actually experienced in working with difficult breeds and big breeds – they deal with mastiffs. They have a good success rate in placing their dogs in permanent homes.

      I think this was less about Safe Sanctuary being a good rescue and more about politics. If so, fine. But then just let Safe know that he is safe and prove that he is safe – a picture or video. They are good with him staying with them if only they knew he was okay. No one has seen him since he was returned to the shelter. No one knows if he is alive or dead.

      In the end, it’s about the dog. Knowing he is okay is the most important thing here. (Sorry. This issue has had me fired up for days. So much bad water under the bridge on this one.)

  14. Patty
    September 6, 2012 at 7:29 PM

    Wilson is awesome….he herds, that is it….he is a young collie….also what we do at SAFE is work with bad behaviors, train dogs, rehab and socialize. Any training he needed would have been done here….SAFE has a great track record on rehabbing dogs, that is what we do…..This was a power play, plain and simple….This woman wants control…..that’s it….I’ll put my experience up against hers any day…..40 yrs of training, showing, raising dogs, 30 years of grooming experience and 15 total in rescue, 8 running a rescue….I personally specialize in rehabbing giant breeds..mastiff’s and danes….although I work with all breeds those are just my passion…Currently sitting in a house with a dane, 4 mastiff’s and a lab..all males, no issues, perfect gentlemen….I think I could handle one collie….Its not about SAFE, its a one person vendetta… This just should have never had happened…you don’t lie about something just so you can steal it, dog, car, clothing, friends, anything….if there was a issue then a normal conversation could have taken care of it, not a hostile scream fest, lies and threats, very unbecoming of a director of a shelter…..it wasn’t about what was best for Wilson it was what she decided she wanted to do…. If there was a “history” then why not discuss it, like a adult??? We had him for 24 hrs, in that 24 hrs he was perfect with the other dogs, great with everyone he met, stole my heart, slept in bed with me…..great dog…..

  15. threedogsplus
    September 6, 2012 at 7:32 PM

    I just searched for Last Hope Collies and they sound like just a branch of Last Hope, which is an all breed rescue. So Wilson went to an all breed rescue, not a Collie rescue. And the plot thickens. More questions, not enough answers.

    • Mel
      September 6, 2012 at 8:44 PM

      Yes. That are my thoughts too Linda. I don’t quite get the connection between the breed rescue and the Collie Rescue. Maybe Last Hope Animal Rescue in Iowa knows. I might be worth emailing them to find out.

  16. September 7, 2012 at 10:02 AM

    Curious. It’s really hard to even guess what it is going on with so little information. Perhaps the shelter demanded Wilson’s return due to liability concerns? If Wilson is known to nip perhaps they feel they need to have more control over what happens to him as any dangerous event could put their shelter at risk.

    Hopefully more information will come to light and Wilson is in good hands. That’s really all that matters.

  17. September 7, 2012 at 11:48 AM

    I’m hoping that Wilson is safe and this is all just a misunderstanding. I did however think the humane society’s correspondence was very rude. Really, it should be about the dog and only about the dog. Who cares what rescue he is in as long as he is being well taken care of and trained?

    After reading Wilson’s contract it seems like all of this might have been avoided if the adopter’s had contacted the Humane Society directly. According to item 4, the PEHS is to be contacted before any action is taken. Perhaps that is really what the issue is. If one person does it and gets away with it, it opens the doors for others.

    Delilah’s adoption contract states if I must surrender her for any reason she goes back to the rescue. I am assuming this is so she is not surrendered to a facility where she might be put down. I could see why that might be written in a contract.

    Whatever is going on, I’m sure you’ll get to the bottom of it, Mel.

    • Mel
      September 7, 2012 at 1:54 PM

      Thanks for your comment Jodi. According to my sources, the family did notify the shelter. That’s why this is all so strange.

    • Mel
      September 7, 2012 at 10:46 PM

      Thanks Jodi. Work is in progress. Hopefully, will be able to share more soon.

  18. Patty
    September 7, 2012 at 5:30 PM

    Makes you wonder then the director at the shelter has not returned any of the messages left by our lawyer….something to hide….I’d say so!!!

  19. September 7, 2012 at 10:37 PM

    This story is just too bizzare for words. I hope that everyone involved does was best for Wilson.

    • Mel
      September 7, 2012 at 10:41 PM

      Me too. Thanks Karen. I think we are making some progress, but waiting for some additional info.

  20. September 10, 2012 at 10:15 AM

    It always saddens me when rescues operate in these shady sort of dealings. It brings our entire cause through the mud, because if you can’t trust a shelter, who should you trust? At this point the best thing they can do is bring transparency to this whole mess. Answer the questions, modify your practices, and move on with the goal of saving lives. Covering things up is only worse for everyone.

    • Mel
      September 10, 2012 at 9:25 PM

      Me too. It makes all of us look bad. It’s really disappointing. If we can’t all work together for the best interests of the animals than what does that make us? We are getting some answers, but not enough. I do know Wilson is in a foster home and he may be okay. But, the whole thing as left me with a bad taste in my mouth.

  21. Alicia x
    October 8, 2012 at 10:18 AM

    so cute and fluffy x

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