Marion County Animal Shelter Asks Woman $900 To Retrieve Dog

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MARION COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF) – Ashley Moffitt had been looking for her dog, Jax, for weeks. She had just about given up hope when she was contacted that Jax had been turned in to MARC in Marion County.

Now, Ms. Moffitt is preparing to take legal action against MARC, claiming that they wanted over $1300 to get her dog back.

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“She came at me with like this outrageous number and I was like 932 dollars, to get my own dog back? She’s given away, not even kidding – mutts, for free, back to their owners. Just because they’re ready to get them out of there,” says Moffitt.

Moffitt claims that her lost dog, Jax, was picked up by a volunteer for MARC – and after a review by their board, they determined that the cost to reclaim the dog would be around $900.

Executive Director April Bowden says that this is standard procedure for most shelters.

“We have a reclaiming fee of ten dollars a day which added up we’ve never had an animal reclaimed after 81 days. He didn’t have a microchip, he didn’t have a nametag. We had no idea if he had an owner or not,” says Bowden.

Bowden claims that she didn’t feel comfortable letting Jax return to Moffitt’s home after seeing his condition upon entering the care of MARC’s workers – citing an ear infection, as well as missing patches of fur. And after 81 days in their care, Bowden says that she was told by her lawyers that they were not obligated to return Jax.

“We’ve been told by our lawyers that after the fifth day he is legally our dog and we can choose what to do with him. Morally, that’s a different determination. Morally, whether you should give the dog back, or legally you have to give the dog back,” Bowden says.

Moffitt says she ended up paying the $932 dollar fee to get Jax back, and although she’s glad to have her pup home, she hopes something like this to happen to anyone else.