Rescue dog gets adopted, only to go missing and found dead after new family leaves it unleashed

The team behind animal welfare group Voices For Animals were devastated yesterday when they found out that one of their dogs was found dead not long after it was adopted.

According to their posts on Facebook, the pup — named CiEn — was apparently left unleashed and ran away from home. It went missing and was later found dead, believed to have gotten involved in an accident.

While VFA isn’t willing to outrightly blame CiEn’s new owners, the team was certainly heartbroken and angry that the toy poodle’s death could have been prevented if it was leashed in the first place.

“We highlight that ALL dogs should be leashed and it is part of our Adoption Agreement, perhaps we should have repeated and emphasized a million times instead of lesser that you SHOULD BE LEASHED,” VFA wrote in a Facebook post.

“Many complain that VFA is too strict with our screening and adoption process, repeating the same ‘common sense’ information. Today we are reminded not to take for granted that humans will use common sense.”

A VFA volunteer posted a similar post of her own, claiming that CiEn’s lifeless body was simply wrapped in a black trash bag and discarded ten meters away from its adopted home.

The volunteer was not willing to elaborate what exactly transpired, but hammered in the importance of leashing dogs.

Facebook screengrab

Lucky the dog

Photo: Facebook

The family that adopted the dog from VFA, however, offered their own side of the story. Renaming it to Lucky, the owner explained in a Facebook post that it went missing last in the wee hours of last Sunday morning in the vicinity of Block 12 along Holland Avenue. According to her, posters were put up around the neighborhood and on social media, seeking any information that could lead them to Lucky. This apparently took place just a week after the eight-year-old poodle was adopted.

Photo: Facebook

It was on Tuesday afternoon that her husband received a call from someone who suspected that there might be an animal buried under a tree near Block 21 in Holland Drive. According to the caller, he had been walking his own dogs when one of the canines started digging at the base of the tree. The caller noticed that there was indeed something buried at the spot and did some digging of his own. A “bloated body” of a dog was found, and the man made a call to the number on the poster.

“My husband started digging at the site with his bare hands and soon uncovered the body,” she wrote. The body was bloated to the point where it was almost unrecognizable, and he only identified Lucky because of her unusually short tail and crooked teeth.”

The cause of death is unknown, but it is believed that Lucky was hit by a car (its jaw was found broken, its neck twisted) and some folks buried the body at the spot.

‘Lashed out’

Photo: Facebook

Lucky’s body was brought back home and her husband called her with bad news. Arrangements were made for funeral services, and VFA volunteers were informed as well.

To her surprise, the volunteers were already at her house when she returned home.

“They had lashed out at (my husband), and my daughter who was there at that time, for not being responsible enough and for not putting her on a leash.”

The reason why Lucky wasn’t leashed, she clarified, was that it was “weak and skinny” when it was adopted, and they believed that putting a leash on would be uncomfortable for the dog.

“My husband and daughter would like to say that they cannot express how sorry they felt, and that they knew that sorry could not be enough to atone for the loss of a life,” she wrote, thanking everyone who helped the family spread the message. She apologised again to the VFA team for failing to adhere to their reminders to leash the dog.

Anger at VFA

Amidst the anger directed at the family, some pointed out that VFA might be being unfair in their portrayal of the dog’s owners.

The trash bag

Photo: VFA / Facebook

What the post made by Lucky’s adopter didn’t address, however, was the allegations that the dog’s body was simply kept discarded in a garbage bag. On behalf of his volunteers, VFA founder Derrick Tan explained why his team had been so anguished by the incident, especially so when they allegedly arrived at the adopter’s place only to find the dog’s corpse in a trash bag and placed a distance away from its former home.

According to him, VFA only sought to raise the importance of leashing dogs, and did not have any intentions to shame the adopter.

“As for now, a life lost, all of us learnt, and we will be extra careful and of course to be even more stringent to pass the message across to potential adopters of all the criteria stated by VFA,” he wrote last night.

As for Lucky (or CiEn, as the VFA insist on that name), the toy poodle has since received a proper burial by the group’s volunteers.

Photo: Facebook

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