JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The original owner of a pregnant dog housed at a Jacksonville shelter has come forward Tuesday after a family raised money to adopt the animal and save her puppies from being aborted.
The money raised through crowdsourcing would have postponed the dog's sterilization surgery required by Florida's pet adoption laws, but the original owner has decided to go through with the surgery anyway.
Perkins said she found Lucy two months ago and asked neighbors if they were missing a dog. When no one came forward, Perkins unofficially adopted her and shortly learned thereafter that the dog was pregnant.
Perkins said Lucy went missing, but thanks to the power of social media, she found out that the dog was being held at the Jacksonville Animal Care and Protective Services (ACPS).
Because Perkins wasn't the owner registered to Lucy's microchip, ACPS was required by law to do a "stray hold" on the dog. In other words, it had to hold onto Lucy for six days to see if the original owner would come forward. If not, Perkins could reclaim her.
State law also required Lucy be spayed before she was handed over, which also meant killing her puppies.
Perkins wanted to rescue the puppies, so she asked the community to help her pay for the $500 refundable deposit to ACPS, plus a $65 reclaim fee. ACPS said Perkins was required to show proof that Lucy was spayed within 30 days from reclaiming her in order to get her money back. Perkins said she was going to donate the refund to the shelters, including any extra cash raise on from the GoFundMe page.
On Tuesday, however, Lucy's original owner came forward. ACPS said the owner decided to go through with the sterilization surgery regardless of the puppies.
Lucy's sterilization surgery has been scheduled for Wednesday.
Regarding the nearly $1,000 raised on GoFundMe to help Lucy, Perkins said she wants to see if people want their money back first. If not, she plans to go ahead and donate the extra funds to the shelter.