Owning an animal is about more than just feeding it and wiping up the messes that it inevitably makes.
Welcoming a pet into your home means that pet becomes a part of the family.
What happens when someone else decides that they might have had your new pet first?
That was the problem facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) BoonDragoon when they came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for outside opinions.
“AITA for having somebody’s ‘lost dog’ post taken down?”
First, there was the backstory.
“My partner and I rescued a Siberian husky (pics available in my post history, hence no throwaway) back in November.”
“He was found wandering a busy road by an acquaintance of ours and immediately taken to the local humane society. …hold on, this is relevant, I swear…”
OP took the appropriate steps.
“They kept him for the requisite two weeks [edit: ten days. I looked it up while answering comments and never bothered to edit], called the number on his chip, nobody came in to claim him, nobody picked up the phone.”
“So, once the holding period was up, we went to visit ‘Phoenix’ and fell head over heels.”
“The next day we pay the fees, sign the papers, and take him home.”
“Jump-cut to today.”
“He’s settled in nicely, his concrete calluses have healed, he no longer freaks out when you try to touch his head or raise your hand, he gets along with the cats, and is, though I may be biased, one happy guy.”
“Three months [edit: two. I can math, I swear] from adoption (to the DAY), we’re chilling, maxing, relaxing all cool, when a friend of ours sends us a link to a Facebook page.”
“It’s the local Lost and Found Pets group.”
“With a picture of our dog. Posted an hour earlier. Panicking slightly, I DM the OP to ask a few questions. The exchange went like this:”
“Me: ‘hey, I saw your missing dog post. That guy looks familiar, when did he go missing?’ “
OP: ‘Last week, have you seen him?’ “
Me: ‘oh, no, false alarm. We adopted a dog that could be the twin of the one you’re looking for a few months ago, but the timeline doesn’t match up. Good luck!’ “
“I breathe a sigh of relief and go on with my evening. Then I get a notification.”
Everything was fine until…
“OP: ‘oh, actually it was in October. I posted for a friend who isn’t Facebook savvy, so I don’t have all the information.’ “
“Alarm bells. Panic. This is hella sus.”
“Long story short, after a few rounds of clarifying questions it becomes clear that the dog this person is looking for is our dog.”
“She even gives me the original owner’s Facebook page.”
“A sh*tload of ‘oh poor me, my dog is missing. He hasn’t shown up at any of the shelters, and nobody’s called’, all starting after we had adopted him.”
“Something stinks, and I decide to extricate myself from the situation.”
“Who doesn’t bother to check the local shelters when their dog goes missing?”
“Who wouldn’t be glued to their phone, waiting for a call?”
“Worse, who would potentially lie about not doing those things? That was my thought process.”
“The next morning, the Lost and Found post has gained significant traction for a local page.”
“Triple-digit shares, dozens of comments, people have even dug up the old humane society listing for my dog.”
“At this point, I’m envisioning a small army of people under the impression our dog is stolen and ready to go postal on us during a walk in the park.”
“Worse, I’m worried about the original owner getting back to us and doing something stupid.”
“So, I quietly contact a group admin and explain the situation.”
“A few minutes later, the post was nowhere to be seen. Now I’m having second thoughts.”
OP was left to wonder.
Having explained the situation, the question was offered to Reddit for some outside opinions.
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided: NTA
Some got right to the point.
“If she really missed the dog, she wouldn’t wait 3 months to look for it.” ~ crazymamallama
“I agree, if my dog went missing I’d be posting everywhere and calling the pound/humane society DAILY.”
“NTA- I’m glad the dog found a loving home.” ~ Cajs0712
Others were suspicious.
“Or their dog really went missing, but they’re a frequent flier (my local shelter at least charges more to get your dog back if they’ve picked it up more than a couple times).”
“Or the dog got injured or something and they couldn’t afford all the fees.”
“So they decided to just wait until it got adopted and then try to beg the new owners for their dog back.” ~ calliatom
There were words of consolation.
“You seemed to go above and beyond in interacting with these people. That is a whole lot of drama that they are manufacturing. Don’t get involved.”
“You and the shelter followed protocol to try to reunite the dog with its owner.”
“They could have easily located the dog if they really did check the area shelters.”
“If it had concrete callouses then it was likely living on its own and/or poorly cared for a while before it got to the shelter.”
“It seems they had abandoned the dog for whatever reason and then later changed their mind.”
“The dog is now in a good home and is loved and cared for. All is well.”
“Rest easy.” ~ Salcha_00
“Do not give up this dog if your story is true.”
“It’s yours now.”
“If it were my little buddy I wouldn’t have slept till I found her or passed out. Those are not people deserving of such an animal.” ~ Crushing_Reality
OP did return to provide some more context.
“Since some of you apparently think I just stole this dog and am fabricating an incredibly elaborate cover story that involves posting on an extremely popular and widely read subReddit.”
“Instead of just…keeping quiet about the whole thing, here’s a shot of my dog’s original lost and found post from the shelter where I adopted him.”
“Feel free to go through my post history and compare it to the extremely cute pictures I posted of him.”
“If they archived their adoptable dog listings, I’d link that too.”
“If you’re really curious you can probably just do a Google snapshot of their website around 11/17/21”
Owning an animal is about more than food and poop bags and making sure the water bowl is full.
The animal is a member of your family and needs to be treated as such.