On December 13, a man brought his 10-year-old Chihuahua, Boris, to the Humane Society after the pooch suffered a broken jaw during an altercation with another dog. Boris was in extreme pain, but his owner did not have the funds to pay for X-rays and surgery. He made the decision to surrender Boris to the shelter.
Now that he is in recovery, Boris’s owner hopes to re-adopt him, leading to mixed emotions among pet lovers and the animal rescue community.
Once custody of Boris was relinquished to the Humane Society, staff rushed him to the veterinarian where he underwent emergency surgery. Due to the urgent nature of Boris’s injuries, shelter staff was not able to raise donations to cover the procedure, follow-up care, and rehabilitation in advance.
They reached out via social media, hoping to raise the $3,200- $3,500 in estimated costs. Kind-hearted donors ended up contributing close to $5,000 for Boris’s care.
“We were completely blown away with the generosity of our community. We definitely have a lot of animal lovers out there.”
Boris has an estimated 4 – 5 months of recovery ahead of him, but the surgeon was able to save his jaw – something they were not sure was possible due to the severity of his injuries.
While the rescue is strictly focused on helping Boris recuperate, his previous owner has expressed his desire to re-adopt the dog.
“I would love to get my dog back. I didn’t want to give him up, but that was the only option that I had,” the man said. “And they made it seem as though they were just going to put him down anyway. I didn’t think there was any option that he would survive this ordeal to begin with.”
Since Boris’s surgeries were paid for by donations, he feels he should have this right.
“They’re not out anything if they were to either give me back my dog or allow me to re-adopt him,” he said. “There’s nothing coming out of their pockets if they decide to do that.”
The shelter director says she will evaluate all applicants, including Boris’s previous owner, when the time comes to re-home the pooch.
Opinions are sharply divided on this issue. While many acknowledge the high cost of veterinary care and the dilemma it poses for pet owners facing emergencies; others argue that if Boris is returned it will encourage people to abuse the rescue system in order to avoid paying vet bills.
What do you think of the dilemma facing Boris’s rescuers? Should he return home to his former owner or be put up for adoption like other surrendered pets? Tell us your opinion in the comments!