Woman claims local shelter won’t return her dog


FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. (WMBB)- A beloved pet who is stuck in the Panhandle. Following a series of unfortunate events, the original owner, became ill and was forced to give up her dog. The owner is running into major problems trying to get her pet back now that she is well again.

This is Buddy the English Bulldog. He is five-years-old, loves to cuddle and rolls over for belly rubs.

“They were against me getting him back from the first moment spoke to me,” said Tonya Thompson.

This started three weeks ago, when Tonya Thompson, Buddy’s owner received a phone call from a local shelter. They told her that they have a dog in Fort Walton Beach with a microchip registered to her.

“I was just completely stunned,” said Thompson.

Thompson fell ill almost four years ago. Suffering from severe joint pains, she wanted to give buddy the best life, which meant giving him up.

“I found a couple that I knew from my previous employer and they took him. Then as I started getting better, they wanted to keep him because their son was really attached,” Thompson said that she agreed politely and they promised if anything changed they would give Thompson the dog back.

Which is why being contacted by the Panhandle Animal Welfare Society, also known as P.A.W.S in Florida, was startling, especially since Thompson is living in Tennessee. She explained that what’s worrisome is that she has never lived in Florida before and the family that Buddy went to said they were still in the area last time they spoke.

Quickly trying to do everything she could to get Buddy back, she began making plans.

“I needed to take off work to come to get him and that wasn’t good enough I guess,” said Thompson.

Because, P.A.W.S. turned the dog over to another shelter in DeFuniak Springs called, Compassionate Animal Rescue Team.

“If they are a true compassionate animal rescue, and you have the previous owner calling and saying, he is mine I want him back. I’m willing to drive all the way from another state to get him. I’m willing to take care of any cost that you have endured having him, why they would not want me to take him back,” explained Thompson.

Even though Thompson is providing proof of ownership with medical records, pictures, and microchip registration, compassionate animal rescue is refusing to accept that she is the owner.

“I don’t understand why they would want him to sit in a kennel for weeks while they find him a home with someone who doesn’t even know him,” said Thompson.

Left with more questions rather than answers, Thompson wonders if she’ll ever see buddy dog again.

News 13 reached out to both organizations, P.A.W.S. and C.A.R.T. for comment and neither has returned calls.

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