5 min read

Weigh In: Lost Dog Quickly Adopted. Who's The Owner? [Updated]

Rosa Torres's eight-month-old puppy, Raffiki, escaped her family's San Fernando Valley backyard three weeks ago, was picked up by animal control, and was then recovered by Karma Rescue, an animal rescue organization. The organization cleaned up the Rhodesian ridgeback, named her Kami, and within a week, found her an adoptive family. But, just as Karma was letting a new family adopt Kami/Raffiki, according to a column by Sandy Banks in the Los Angeles Times, Torres found her dog on the organization's website and tried to adopt her back (for a $300 fee). Ultimately, the rescue organization determined that Torres "did not meet the qualifications that Karma looks for when adopting a dog to a home" and let the adoption go through.

Update: Karma rescue released a statement to Jezebel detailing the timeline of Raffiki/Kami's adoption.

- On February 21 at 6:03 p.m., Karma received, and approved, an adoption application for Kami, and requested the applicant family have an in-person meet-and-greet with her. That family met Kami at NKLA and took her home that day.
- At 6:54 p.m. that evening, Karma Rescue received an e-mail containing a second application for Kami from "Rosa Torres." However, this application was not reviewed until after the adoption was complete. Karma received a voicemail at 4:57 p.m. from "Rosa Torres" in which she claimed to be the dog's owner. Karma had not been aware of this voicemail until after the adoption had taken place.
- At 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 22, Karma contacted "Rosa Torres" to let her know Kami had lready been adopted. She was also informed that had she contacted the organization sooner, Karma would have been in a better position to reunite her with her dog. During the aforementioned telephone conversation with Ms. Torres, she was also informed that Karma had spoken with Kami's adopters, the dog's now-legal owners, to apprise them of the situation.
- At all times, Karma has acted legally, in good faith, and with the best interests of the dog as a priority. LAAS and the LAPD have confirmed that there has been no illegal conduct on the part of the rescue.

Karma Rescue did make a legally sound choice -- just as Torres did lose the dog, and the new owners did pay to adopt the puppy -- but it's a tough call, and one volunteer even quit in anger. (We even had a hard time reaching a consensus in The Dodo's morning meeting about it.)

So what do you think? Should the new owners #ReturnRaffiki or #KeepKami as their own? Post your opinion on Twitter with either #ReturnRaffiki or #KeepKami and we'll track the results and highlights below. And if you want to say more, join The Dodo and contribute a blog post on your decision.