Annette Vallieres-Lawson can barely talk about Chewy without choking up. He's her 4-year-old Shih Tzu terrier. He joined the family months before her infant daughter's death. She says she can't bear to lose them both.
"We miss him," Vallieres-Lawson said. "We love him and we want our dog back."
In early July she says someone stole Chewy from her yard in Troy. He did not have a microchip or a collar. The family posted signs around town and neighbors searched back roads, looking for the little guy who loved to tease the family ferret.
"We did everything we possibly could, but within Orleans County. Nobody thought to look outside the county," Vallieres-Lawson said.
As weeks passed, she was less hopeful she'd find Chewy alive. But on Saturday-- good news. Her local animal shelter called to say it found an online listing to adopt Chewy at the North Country Animal League in Morrisville. Animal control had picked him up 30 miles from home in Johnson, held him the required eight days, and then turned him over to the closest shelter as a stray.
"At that point I called there to say can I come get my dog? And that's when I was told no," Vallieres-Lawson said.
"We had the dog since July 20 and it was adopted on July 28th. Literally within two hours of the dog being adopted is when we received the phone call," said Sallie Scott of the North Country Animal League.
Scott says she always tries to reunite pets with their owners. But if they are no longer at North Country, her hands are tied.
"What complicates is if the animal has been adopted because then legally the animal is no longer ours," she explained.
Something Vallieres-Lawson doesn't think is fair, as she's left wondering about Chewy's new owners: "Are they letting him sleep in the bed? Are they giving him the treats he likes?"
In 1999, this shelter was involved in a very similar case. Ultimately the Vt. Supreme Court ruled the shelter followed procedure, protecting the rights of the new owners. And the old owners never got their dog back.
Thursday, May 23 2013 6:06 AM EDT2013-05-23 10:06:37 GMT
Flash flooding in Burlington Wednesday night turned city streets into a kayaker's playground. "The drains in the city were all plugged with debris," says Lt. Pat Murphy with the Burlington Fire Dept. ButMore >>
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Thursday, May 23 2013 5:52 AM EDT2013-05-23 09:52:05 GMT
Another major Vermont brand is suing over trademark infringement. Magic Hat Brewing says the logo for Kentucky-based West Sixth Brewing is a rip-off of their Number 9 beer label. Magic Hat argues theMore >>
Another major Vermont brand is suing over trademark infringement.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 5:48 AM EDT2013-05-23 09:48:28 GMT
A Townshend man will be in court for breaking into a house and making himself at home. Police say last Friday and again on Wednesday, they caught 34-year-old Jesse Johnson living in another man's homeMore >>
A Townshend man will be in court for breaking into a house and making himself at home. More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 5:25 AM EDT2013-05-23 09:25:30 GMT
A Williston car dealership is revved up about education. So, it's letting some schools drive off with some money. As part of its Drive for Education Program, Berlin City Auto Group just donated more thanMore >>
A Williston car dealership is revved up about education. So, it's letting some schools drive off with some money.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 5:19 AM EDT2013-05-23 09:19:26 GMT
A proposed fee to cross the U.S.-Canadian border hit a roadblock. The House Appropriations Committee passed an amendment by Congressman Bill Owens banning Homeland Security from using funding to studyMore >>
A proposed fee to cross the U.S.-Canadian border hit a roadblock.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 5:16 AM EDT2013-05-23 09:16:34 GMT
New Hampshire's House says a casino isn't in the cards for the state. The House killed a bill that would have allowed 5,000 video slot machines and 150 table games at a single casino, most likely at aMore >>
New Hampshire's House says a casino isn't in the cards for the state.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 5:13 AM EDT2013-05-23 09:13:01 GMT
Montreal officials say the water in most of the city is unsafe to drink Thursday morning. A boil order has been issued through mid-day Thursday. They report ongoing work at the country's second largestMore >>
Montreal officials say the water in most of the city is unsafe to drink due to bacteria concerns. More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 7:16 PM EDT2013-05-22 23:16:19 GMT
Jeremy Dodge doesn't want to leave his childhood home in East Montpelier. But his days on Foster Road are numbered. "It's my homestead," he said. "You know, I planned on dying here." That plan changedMore >>
A Vt. man about to lose his property at a tax sale sold it to Gov. Peter Shumlin, but now claims the state's leader took advantage of him. The governor says the allegations are misleading and he offered his neighbor a fair price.More >>