For seven months, a Tennessee family had been looking for their stolen dog, Ginger. The search ended 460 miles away in Palos Park, Illinois. Even though the McGee family knows where their red and white Siberian husky is, they can’t bring her home.
The McGees first reported that Ginger was missing in December. Two weeks later, the family learned that a neighbor had abducted their dog. The woman didn’t think that dogs should be bred. She is accused of taking Ginger to an animal hospital, having her spayed and microchipped for identification. The neighbor then put Ginger in a shelter. The dog was then sent to a Chicago animal shelter where another family adopted her.
A Palos Park police officer met with the family that adopted Ginger to see if they would return her to the McGees. The family had become quite close to the dog and was not willing to give her up. The police officer then contacted the state’s attorney’s office to see if there could be a court order obtained to remove the dog. The state’s attorney’s office said that the officer could not get involved because there was no criminal intent.
From Chicago Tribune:
“Basically they said that the McGees have to hire a private attorney in Illinois and take it up in civil court. According to our state’s attorney, there is no proof of ownership because the McGees did not microchip the dog,” Campbell [Palos Park police officer] said.
Police Chief Joe Miller said his department can’t resolve it without a court order.
“We can’t just go into someone’s house and remove their dog without a court order. They adopted the dog through legal channels and in good faith. It’s a case with multiple victims,” Miller said.
“It’s a sad situation all the way around,” Campbell said. “She is currently in a home where she is loved and being cared for. However, she legally belongs to the McGees, and they have all the paperwork to prove it.
“The couple who took her in felt they were doing a good thing by adopting her from the Anti-Cruelty Society, and they became very attached to her.
They didn’t do anything wrong, and they will be heartbroken if she has to go back to Tennessee.”
Chip McGee said he wants the state’s attorney’s office to seek a court order to get his dog returned.
“What does it take to get the authorities in Illinois to uphold the law? If this was somebody’s stolen Lexus in their driveway, they would have gone in and removed it as soon as they found it,” he said.
“It just doesn’t make sense — we are the victims. Our dog was stolen, they arrested the suspect and now we are supposed to pay for an attorney to get her back?”
Yet another story that shows how important microchipping is.