Heart and Soul Animal Sanctuary , a refuge for abused animals which I’d visited and written about several times, made the front page of today’s Santa Fe New Mexican . Natalie Owings, Heart and Soul’s founder, had received an anonymous phone call claiming that a local Yorkie was being neglected – tied up without food or water outside a government building. On that tip, sanctuary personnel swooped in to rescue the tiny dog.
Before you could even say dognapper, arrangements had been made for the dog to be transported to Denver to take up residence with a caring family. Turns out, however, the dog (by all accounts) already belonged to a caring family. Hector Gardea-Romero, a janitor in the building, regularly took his pet to work with him. The dog, Crazy, had been outside the building only a short while when the abduction occurred. He’d been patiently waiting for Gardea-Romero to join him for lunch.
So how did a situation become so misperceived that an anonymous tip would lead otherwise respectable citizens to take the law into their own hands? Those details are yet to be revealed, as the sanctuary may face criminal charges.
Having met Owings, the sanctuary’s founder, I’m 100% confident she was only trying to do right by the animal. Like many who’d heard about the case in California , I became indignant reading that the man who’d trespassed when rescuing an abandoned Pit Bull had been arrested. Granted, that situation was a clear and obvious case of severe neglect. But that said, had one of my dogs been snatched away by a well-intentioned stranger, forgiveness would not come easily.
According to the article:
“While not completely dismissing the information given to her by that caller last week, Owings said she would be ‘heartbroken’ to hear that a dog was taken from a good, caring owner.”
Should all be forgiven? Your comments are welcome.