Linus the black lab. (Photo: Surrey Animal Resource Centre, Facebook)

Linus the black lab. (Photo: Surrey Animal Resource Centre, Facebook)

Woman fights to get dog back from Surrey shelter

But shelter says ‘hobbling’ lab will stay, despite GoFundMe campaign to get him back

SURREY — The Surrey Animal Resource Centre says it is holding onto a black lab – and for good reason.

But Olivia Todd says Linus is her dog and wants him back.

“They won’t give him back to me because I didn’t have a second piece of ID with my address on it,” Todd wrote underneath a SARC Facebook post dated Oct. 9th. “After frantically getting one made they are refusing to return my dog!”

Todd has also started a GoFundMe page for Linus that states SARC is using medical needs as “leverage in withholding my dog from me.”

On the fundraising site, Todd wrote that Linus got through a hole in the fence and was picked up on Oct. 3, and released to her on Oct. 5th.He landed back in the shelter again on Oct. 9, according to Todd.

“A few days went by and Linus managed to get through the hole again in the backyard even after enclosing it but he still managed to wiggle on through (Linus loves to be chased) and now Surrey Animal Resource Center located in Cloverdale on Colebrooke road decided to make our lives a nightmare and refused myself and any of my family the ability in reclaiming our dog Linus.”

That time, the shelter demanded proper identification, said Todd.

“After frantically calling around to different family members I managed to get something with my photo on it and raced that to them.”

She added: “Ive told the shelter we had funds for the first surgery but they feel they have the rights to steal him from his family.”

Todd wrote Linus’ surgery will cost thousands.

According to the GoFundMe, “Whatever proceeds will be donated to the vetinarian and their choice of animal clinic or hospital and that will also take on Linus’ procedures. I have the funds for the first surgery but Surrey Animal Resource Center has been withholding my dog and refuses to give him back to his family and is deciding to use Linus’ medical needs as a way to take him from me instead of maybe help me as he already has a good home and a family that loves him.”

But SARC’s story is different.

Surrey’s manager of animal care and control Kim Marosevich told the Now-Leader the dog had been impounded several times in the last year and has a medical issue that has gone untreated.

Marosevich said Linus has been a “frequent flyer” at the shelter, being brought in five times in the last year.

Sometimes, he’s been found wandering by animal control, other times he’s been brought in by the public.

“Fortunately nothing happened to him when he was out,” she said. “He’s a prototypical lab. Although he’s mannerless, he wouldn’t know how to sit, he’s certainly very, very friendly.”

Marosevich said Linus has a ruptured cruciate.

“One of the muscles around his knee is blown,” she explained. “So if you think about the band of muscle, it’s torn. When he puts his leg down, he can’t bear weight on it. He’s hobbling around.”

Marosevich says the last time Linus was released, it was with a follow-up order to be completed by the SPCA.

“We first contacted the SPCA to do a follow up cruelty investigation as a result of Linus’ leg in February of this year,” said Marosevich.

She said it’s not unusual for such an order, when animals come into the shelter who will require ongoing vet care.

“But the challenge is when the animal can’t be found, essentially,” she said, adding they had no address to follow up with in Linus’ case.

Then, the dog turned up at the shelter again.

Marosevich acknowledged that veterinary care can be expensive, but said the dog needs this issue rectified because it impacts his quality of life. She said in the past, the shelter worked with the woman, who says she’s the owner, and have “bent the rules” when she asked for men to pick up the dog for her.

“At the end of the day the shelter just said, really, you need to be able to provide the medical care the dog needs…. We can do the surgery and set him up in a home where he’s in a stable environment.”

As for the dog going back to the woman, Marosevich said “it’s a little late.”

But it appears Todd isn’t giving up.

“They know they are wrong and this is disgusting,” she said in a message to the Now-Leader.

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