Most of you will be aware that we have been embroiled in a case involving a Jack Russell-mix dog named Zeus (originally named Skippy), who was adopted from us a few months ago as a puppy by a woman and her then-partner. The woman who adopted him and her then-partner have parted ways; Zeus was then surrendered into our care by her for various reasons.
We are unable to divulge all the details due to ongoing proceedings between the erstwhile couple but the basic facts are:
1. The legal owner (the person who signed the adoption contract) of the Jack Russell-mix dog, Zeus, advised us that she needed to give him up.
2. According to FAW’s adoption contract, should an adopter no longer be able to care for that animal, FAW must take the adopted animal back and rehome it. We followed the contract to the letter and strictly legally.
3. The owner brought Zeus to the foster’s home; we did not remove Zeus from his home and Zeus was not ‘dumped at a shelter’, nor was there ever any intention to take him to a shelter.
4. The owner signed a surrender form stating that she was surrendering Zeus to FAW, and that he was FAW’s responsibility and would be rehomed by FAW. This was also done legally and according to contract.
5. Zeus, who was then around 5 – 6 months old, has been (until his adoption) staying in this same private foster home. There is a garden, other dogs with which he played, somebody home almost 24 hours a day, several beds, sofas, and the foster’s own bed on which to sleep, and toys to play with. He is in excellent health and is happy. For the safety of the fosters, we will not divulge their name or location.
6. We were transparent with the parties involved. Because this was predominantly a matter between the two ex-partners, we did not want to publicise any details on Facebook or with anyone else because we feel that it is unfair and unkind to expose them to that kind of scrutiny. The situation was escalated to Facebook by an interested party, not the person contesting ownership, nor his lawyer (the latter was asked to send questions and demands to our lawyer by email some time ago, but has, to date, not done so yet).
7. We asked for help from a lawyer only after we were contacted by lawyers representing the person who wanted Zeus, as we wanted to ensure we were doing what was fully legal and correct. Please note: The lawyer has helped us Pro Bono (for free) – no funds donated to FAW have been used to pay for the lawyer.
8. We believe that, if there is even the SLIGHTEST hint of doubt over the safety and wellbeing of an animal, whatsoever, that we should take such things very seriously.
We have a vet report from 7 December 2015 stating that Zeus is in good health; his weight is 5.9kg, which is spot on for a dog of his size and age. He is not at all underweight and is a happy, healthy young dog who enjoys his meals and eats very well.
We also supplied pictures showing that Zeus is in good health and is happy (see below for further pictures). And yet, a request was received that we send Zeus away from the private foster home to a shelter.
We are an ANIMAL welfare; our responsibility is to the ANIMALS. Nobody working with FAW is paid – everyone volunteers their time purely for the love of animals; the animals’ wellbeing is the only thing that matters to us. Throughout the entire case, Zeus’ wellbeing has been our priority; regardless of any harassment or intimidation we may have received, we continued to focus our efforts on ensuring Zeus is safe, healthy and happy.
Zeus has been rehomed to a wonderful home according to our strict home check protocol (bearing in mind that he was legally signed over to us by his owner); this is a home that has been in the pipelines for some time, and not something that only just happened. Zeus is very much alive and well.
We find it very sad that our 10-year history of working for the animals, having helped thousands of animals and always being above board, has been disregarded, and that our care for the animals is being questioned, and some serious insinuations being made. We have done everything according to the law and according to what is best for Zeus.
We would like to invite those who have any doubts about what we do and how we conduct ourselves to join us in the Fisantekraal township on a Tuesday or Saturday morning between 09h00 and 12h00 (our opening times in the township) and see what we do and reassure themselves that we are above board.
We thank all those who support us, who know that we care about the animals’ welfare, and who are willing to be patient, kind, and understanding towards us.
Please note: you are welcome to post your comments or opinions, but threats, intimidation, or bad-mouthing against FAW, FAW volunteers, or other commentators will not be tolerated and will be deleted. No further discussion will be entered into on this case.