'Alpina' from her facebook page: Give Back Alpina
There is a highly volatile story emerging in the world of Dachshund rescue - a story where such words have been thrown that it is unlikely at this point that a happy ending will ever occur. At the very center of the story is a beautiful chocolate girl named 'Alpina,' or as she was known while being rescued and fostered by All American Dachshund Rescue: 'AnnaJo.'
AnnaJo was adopted by Megan Courtney, where she was to live with Megan's boyfriend, Tony, and a Dachshund sibling, in the Lowell, Massachusetts area. Alpina, as she was now known, got away from Tony and was lost. Luckily, she was found, and a rabies tag led her back to AADR. At this point however, AADR has refused to give Alpina back to her adopters for various reasons, including breach of contract.
We first stumbled upon this story when we found this new petition on-line which as of today has over 850 signatures:
On the evening of June 8th, 2011, one of my sisters beloved dachshunds "Alpina" ran off. She had a collar, tags, she is chipped and of course, she was on a leash. After searching all night and using every resource available in order to find Alpina, my sister received a call from All American Dachshund Rescue.
Instead of being reunited with her family, Alpina is being kept at some unknown location without her owners permission. Rescue leagues work hard to place dogs forever in the care of nurturing, loving, and healthy homes. Her owners are experienced and responsible and in no way have breached their adoption contract with AADR. They have done nothing wrong.
This is a very unjust and heartbreaking situation. Im asking if anyone has any information that will help bring Alpina home to her family, it would be greatly appreciated. Diane Irwin, the president of the AADR has told me that the dog has already left the state of MA, has been fostered by several families, and already place with her "new family"... all of this happened within 24 hours. This doesnt sound very legal to me, at all.
The police don't have the time and resources to search for just one missing or stolen dog. We all understand that. But that shouldn't mean that this gets swept under the rug. I have to ask the question: has this happened before, or will it happen again?
This entire situation stinks like some sort of a scam, in order to recycle dogs through loving families, only to then say those same families are unfit, some time after. Im not argueing that adoption contracts, or the screaning methods of adoption candidates are unfair. Rather, the decision to take away a dog from an owner without any type of process or accountability.
How many times will Alpina (aka Anna Jo) go through the adoption process. How much money will this poor animal make for the people of this so-called non-profit organization. Another adoption "donation", a few shelter fees, vet costs, boardng, transportation... When will it stop? Where is Alpina?
Her owners are good people and the rescue group is taking advantage of everyone involved. Help us make this right. Help bring Alpina home.
If you can, please visit the facebook page we set up. It's main purpose is to show compassion and support towards a family who are missing an important part of their family.
After reading this petition, we were struck more than anything with the word 'scam.' Do you really expect us to believe that a non-profit organization who tirelessly donates all its time and resources towards Dachshund rescue are out to scam anyone? We contacted Diane Irwin, President of All American Dachshund Rescue for any sort of statement against the petition. She gracefully agreed, and we thank her for taking time out of her busy schedule to respond:
Thursday morning Diane [AADR rep] got a call at 7:30am from a vets that AnnaJo was reported found in Lowell, MA and was giving the name of the lady that had her. Diane called and she was found, cold, wet and scared with a leash still attached to her. Diane contacted the person that had her and told that person that someone would be there to get her and to keep her safe until then. Diane then call Megan Courtney to find out what happened she told Diane that her boyfriend, Tony was walking the dogs and the leash slip out of his hands and then he went to step on the leash and she took off (We now believe he was trying to train her to stay with him without him having the leash in his hand and this is how she got loose). She then told Diane that Diane could call her boyfriend and get the story which Diane did and he said the same thing but went on to tell Diane he just doesn't understand why AnnaJo doesn't like him when she will let other men pet her. He also admitted that the other dachshund they have is allow off leash cause she "can be trusted and never leaves their side" but he said he turned to see where the other dachshund was and that's how AnnaJo's leash slipped/fell out of his hand. Then he tried to step on the leash and missed and then she was running off. These are TWO big red flags and encouraged Diane and another board member to not give AnnaJo back to these people that were in breach of their contract for not keeping Annajo safe. They were told repeatedly that it was not the fact that AnnaJo got loose but the fact that if their other dog is off leash so will AnnaJo and more than likely the boyfriend was trying to train her to do just that also we are concerned why AnnaJo is afraid of the boyfriend but has no issue with the man in the foster home that she's at now.
They have unfortunately not taken this well and have posted a petition, set up a Facebook page and even gotten another rescue to agree that what we are doing is wrong by not giving back AnnaJo. We feel they are trying to discredit AADR and all the hard work that this organization has done in the 7 yrs it's been a rescue.
We like all other reputable rescues do not just pull a dog away from a family without good reason and careful consideration. The morning that Megan was called we had plans to let her know where AnnaJo was until we heard that the boyfriend had the other dachshund out without a leash and his attention was diverted to her and the leash slipped fell out of his hand. We are inclined to now believe that he didn't even have the leash in his hand but on the ground to "step on if needed" as we believe he was trying to train her to be and "off leash" dog as well. By his own admission AnnaJo was scared of him and we do not put our dogs in homes where they have to live in fear. She is now in a foster home where the man of the house is able to pick her up, carry her around and she goes to him for attention. Do we want Annajo to live a life of fear and why after having been in the adoptive home for a month would she still be afraid of the boyfriend that lives there daily but at the foster home that she's been in less that a week is very relaxed and happy? We are not just about finding ANY home for our dogs but to find the right home for our dogs, in AnnaJo's case we are just happy that we found out that Megan's home was not the right home for AnnaJo and luckily we got her back safe and sound.
Diane even tried to tell Megan about the dangers of allowing a dachshund off leash even when the owner thinks they have them properly trained, this fell on deaf ears. Then the next day when Diane was talking to Tony again she tried to convince him that Dachshunds should never be allow off leash for any reason and again he could not or would not see reason. With all this there is no reason to believe that AnnaJo would not be kept on a leash. We are here to save dachshunds and put them into loving homes where they will be loved and cared for for the rest of their life not to have their life shortened because someone feels they know the breed better than the experts.
Per her application that she sign to be true:
If you do not have a fence are you willing to leash walk at all times?: Yes
Would there ever be an occasion where our/your dog would be allowed to walk/run off leash?: Only at a fully- fenced in dog park
If you do not have a fenced yard, how will you exercise your dog? This answer is required if you do not have a fenced yard.: In the morning they will be taken for a walk on leash, and since I am a dog walker, the dog will be walked while I'm on my walks in the afternoon and at night the dog will be walked on leash around where we live.
Diane S. Irwin, President
All American Dachshund Rescue
And so, sadness has ensued on all sides of the story of 'AnnaJo/Alpina.' We can only imagine the heartbreak and despair her adopters, Megan and Tony must feel. It takes special people to rescue Dachshunds and offer them the love of a forever home - we're quite sure that Megan and Tony have that love to offer in spades. But on the other side of the coin, we can see how the contract may have been breached. This is where rescue organizations often come into question, but what we've learned over the years is that they are the ones doing the tireless work to save the dogs, and as such, they are the ones who make the rules.
All we can do is support them in their efforts, and if we don't like the rules, we can look elsewhere. Our Dad learned this the hard way when he tried to rescue a Dachshund many years ago. He was refused by organization after organization because he didn't have a fenced-in yard. That was it. No fence? Don't bother filling out an application. Things have changed since the year 2000 however, and we will continue to support the rescues who save our Dachshunds and our animals whenever we can.
For AnnaJo/Alpina's sake, we're hoping that Megan, Tony, and AADR can come to terms for a solution. If only for AnnaJo/Alpina.