When Boris, a 10-year-old chihuaua-terrier mix, was surrendered by his owner to an Iowa shelter Thursday, his future seemed bleak.
Boris had a severely broken jaw that veterinarians were not sure they could repair, so the Cedar Bend Humane Society put out a call on social media to raise money for the surgery. Less than a day later, the Waterloo, Iowa, shelter had raised enough money for the operation, the organization posted Friday on Facebook.
“Thanks to all of our great supporters we have received $4,800 since yesterday to put towards his surgery and future medical costs,” the post reads.
The Iowa Veterinary Referral Center in Des Moines performed the surgery on Friday, according to the Facebook post. Boris will require special care for the next five months, including syringe feedings, and should regain full use of his jaw and mouth.
But now that Boris is on the mend, former owner Jeffrey Ferrie told KWWL he doesn’t see why the humane society won’t give him back. Ferrie told the station that he only gave up Boris because he couldn’t afford surgery for the dog’s jaw, possibly broken in a fight with another dog, but wants him back now that it’s been fixed thanks to the donation drive.
“So, they’re not out anything if they were to either give me back my dog or allow me to re-adopt him,” Ferrie told KWWL. “There’s nothing coming out of their pockets if they decide to do that.”
The humane society has deferred a decision on Ferrie’s request while Boris recovers, co-director Kristy Gardner told KWWL. Ferrie told the station that he cannot afford to repay donors for the surgery, saying that he had to borrow the $30 surrender fee in the first place.
The Cedar Bend Humane Society website’s page about surrendering animals does not explicitly preclude former owners from reclaiming or re-adopting their former pet.
At other shelters, similar disputes tend to revolve more around owners of pets picked up as strays protesting their adoption by others.
In Arkansas, Darryl Lunon sued Pulaski County in June after animal control officers picked up one of his purebred German Shepherds who had escaped in February, reported KATV. Lunon alleged the county animal shelter failed to notify him his dog, worth thousands of dollars, had been found and instead gave it to someone else.
And in Texas, Christine Bockin launched a campaign in May to recover her black labrador when it was immediately adopted by another family after being picked up following an escape, reported KCEN.
But in Pensacola, Florida, a young blind girl was reunited with her cat on Dec. 10 when another family that had adopted the cat after it was picked up as a stray returned her to the girl’s family after discovering the mistake, reported WEAR.