Reimer was finally able to find the people who had Howard, and contacted them with a request to visit. The new owners didn't respond - and upon further investigation Reimer figured out why.
Reimer sent a friend to visit Howard, and the friend reported that the dog is being kept tied up in a yard with nothing to do, when he's not locked in a cage with a muzzle on, with no food, water or toys, Reimer wrote on the Change.org page. Howard suffers from kennel rash, and is clearly neglected, says Reimer.
Sheriff's deputy Deon Fuller, whose family now has Howard, says that Reimer's claims about Howard's mistreatment are untrue, and animal control officers investigated the home and agreed.
"As of right now, I'm saying Howard is my dog and he is home with myself and my family," Fuller told WRAL.com.
He added that "a lot of damage has been done" by the Facebook page Reimer set up. The family claims that Howard is their therapy dog.