An emotional story made waves in the Magic Valley when local resident Margaret Boucher lost her dog, Hazel, who ran away. The border collie mix was found by Animal Control, brought in to the Twin Falls Animal Shelter, and adopted by another family eight days later.

The headlines, and the reduced summary of events, had many people angry at -- or at least distrusting of -- the shelter's actions:

But there were several key points left out in the popular news articles, and the facts tell a different story.

I spoke with Assistant to the Director Denim Kerr:

How long was the dog kept at the shelter?

Kerr: "The dog was brought into the shelter on May 26th. Animal control had picked it up as a stray. City policy requires the shelter to keep strays for 48 hours before putting up for adoption. It's 72 hours if the dog has a license or microchip.

"The dog was adopted on June 3rd, so it was here for seven full days, going on eight, before it was adopted, well over the required time."

Did the dog have any identification on it?

"No. The dog had no collar, tag, or microchip. We did scan for the microchip. There was no ID whatsoever. We had no way of knowing it even had an owner. Also, the dog was not spayed. We took it into the veterinarian to be spayed on the 2nd."

Did anyone contact the shelter about Hazel missing?

"We had no report from an owner. No lost report. Not even a post on our Facebook page. We had heard nothing to give us the sense that there was an owner looking for it."

Did anyone from the shelter contact the new family to explain the situation?

"Yes. We contacted the new owners Monday [June 8th] to explain the situation. This unfortunately was left out of the news articles, but we did contact the new owner that Monday evening, who legally adopted the dog and paid the adoption fee."


Board Member Janice Degner confirmed these facts as well:

Is it a sad story? Absolutely. But make no mistake: the Twin Falls Animal Shelter not only did what was required by law, they actually went several steps further. It's a sad story, not a blame story.