As most of the world has heard by now the story of Grace aka Maggie the loyal black lab that would not leave her companions side that was killed and hit by a car, Grace aka Maggie was slated to be adopted yesterday by a good friend of Eric Reynaga the good samaritan that rescued Grace. Robert Perdomo is a Vietnam Veteran and was the adopter for Grace, Robert had renamed her Scarlett and had plans to train Grace as his Service and Therapy dog.
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The Loyal Black Lab that would not leave her Companions SideEric Reynaga
The day after Grace came into the Shelter, Robert came to visit her at the Baldwin Park Animal Shelter every day, Robert spent 2-3 hours daily at the Shelter, sitting with her, walking her, giving Grace treats. Eric had been in contact with me over the weekend stating he could not say much but he would have a very happy update and happy ending for Grace on Monday, Then came the twist! I received a distraught call from Eric around 2:30 pm on Monday April 16th 2012, Eric had stated to me over the phone that the Baldwin Park Animal Shelter had called him that morning to let him know that Grace aka Maggie's owners had been found and they had come into the Shelter to identify and claim her and Baldwin Park Animal Shelter believed through a photograph the owners had and that the owners were able to identify some unique markings they had proven this was their dog Maggie, the owners have denied the dog that had been struck and killed by a car as theirs, Both Eric and Robert were crushed and devastated by the news! Eric stated he was asked by Baldwin Park Animal Shelter to come to the Shelter at 4:00 pm for a press conference, I told him I would meet him at the Baldwin Park Animal Shelter at that time and see what I could do to help him? The news media was out in full force and all the news channels interviewed Aaron Reyes and Eric Reynaga. The end result was that Baldwin Park Animal Shelter had determined and decided to return Grace aka Maggie to her owners and Robert Perdomo the Vietnam Veteran that had his heart set on adopting this loyal black lab, Robert who had come to the Shelter daily to sit with the scared, lost, confused dog for hours on end was not going to be able to take Grace home.
Video of Channel 7 Eyewitness News Interview:
Naturally valid questions arose and were posed by Eric to the news media and Baldwin Park Animal Shelter, where had the owners been for 5 days? Was the dog that had been struck and killed by a car also their dog? As owners why was Grace aka Maggie not spayed, vaccinated, micro-chipped or licensed? Robert stated she also recently had a litter of puppies, verified by the Vet at Baldwin Park Animal Shelter. I sent an email to the Baldwin Park Animal Shelter asking for their side of the story and below is the response I received from Aaron Reyes:
The criteria used to determine the validity of ownership is multi-faceted and used regularly at all of our animal care centers. You are correct when you mentioned the dog's response to her (real) name, "Maggie" by the owner. We named her Grace as we did not know her given name, and her visibly excited response and subsequent attempt to snuggle against the holding pen door was a mannerism not witnessed at anytime while she was with us toward anyone. However, that alone was not the determining factor. We coupled that with other factors like proximity of her owner's home to where she was picked up by our animal control officer, unique markings in her upper mouth that only an owner would know, photos and the fact that the owners were at the Baldwin Park Animal Care Center on Wednesday, the day she became missing. ACC staff recognized and identified them when they again came to the ACC yesterday looking for her. Maggie (Grace) was still on our animal control vehicle when they came to the ACC Wednesday. They told staff they had been looking on the ACC website since but did not see a dog they felt resembled her. We counseled them to always come to the local shelter in person when a pet is missing, as only the owner can positively identify their animal.
We performed a home check and they passed. They received a citation for the licensing and the running at large violation and Maggie is now spayed, vaccinated and micro-chipped. Much like a parent who is negligent in the proper use of their infant's car seat and ticketed and/or counseled, that doesn't make them a bad parent. They would hopefully be a better parent after a visit from the local authorities and becoming educated.
I spoke with Robert, the Vietnam vet at length and he was very understanding. A true hero and friend of the animals and a very reasonable man.
Maggie (Grace) is an ambassador for dogs and their unwavering loyalty. This is a story about her and we are very proud to have met her, cared for her and now it's time to let her go home to be with her family......the family that she so outwardly and obviously loves, and legally belongs to.
Let's not forget about the hundreds of other Maggie's / Grace's at the animal care center who are just as amazing. They only have not had the chance to have their incredible personalities video taped and shown to the world.
Thank you so much for caring Sharon.
County of Los Angeles
Department of Animal Care and Control
"Duty with Compassion"
Where does Grace aka Maggie really belong with the Negligent Owners who did not bother to spay, micro-chip, vaccinate or license their dog, allowed her to have a litter or litters of puppies or with the Vietnam Veteran Robert Perdomo who comforted this dog daily 2-3 hours a day for 5 days, showed her compassion, empathy and unconditional love?
The Original Story: