Repossessed dog returns home

HARLINGEN — The Humane Society of Harlingen made an example out of Greg Smith for not following their animal adoption protocol.

But in the end, Mona is back where she belongs.

On Tuesday, Smith took his daughter’s dog, Mona, to be sterilized. But after the Humane Society management realized the animal was three years overdue for sterilization, they repossessed the dog for breach of contract.

“We had no other option to try and make them comply,” said Misael Lerma, Humane Society of Harlingen shelter manager. “It wasn’t really us being aggressive, we’re just trying to make sure the animal was being taken care of.”

The Smiths ultimately made arrangements at the Country Vet to get the heartworm testing, vaccinations and sterilization before the animal went back home on Wednesday.

“Yeah, we got Mona back,” Smith said. “But they just tried to make an example of me.”

Smith said Mona has now been spayed and all her vaccination records are now up to date.

“I don’t mind paying for it,” Smith said. “It’s a sad situation what they pulled over there.”

Smith says the Humane Society of Harlingen should be held accountable for not following up to find out if the animal had been sterilized after the adoption.

“They should have notified somebody,” Smith said. “They never did a thing about it.”

The Humane Society says they were following Texas law and were always willing to return the animal after the Smith’s provided the necessary paperwork stating Mona had been cared for by a veterinarian.

“It is their responsibility as owners, everything else is a courtesy,” Lerma said. “The problem here was they did not comply, and the animal was not vaccinated or spayed.”