Dog owner claims Toledo Humane Society took her dogs and adopted them out

Leaders with the Humane Society say that is not the case.
Published: Sep. 20, 2023 at 5:54 AM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - A local woman is accusing the Toledo Humane Society (THS) of taking her dogs without her knowledge and then adopting them out for profit, but leaders there say that is just not the case, and they have proof.

Humane Society director, Stephen Heaven, says a maintenance worker at a Toledo apartment complex alerted them of a possible abandonment situation back on August 16. “He said that he had seen the dogs barking out of the window and was concerned for them, and he also told us that he hadn’t seen anybody there for at least a week.”

Heaven says the two dogs were taken into the shelter on August 17, held for 10 days per protocol, and then adopted out separately on August 29.

He says everything was done by the book and then on September 1, the original owner of the dogs made contact with THS.

Madeline Brighton says she can explain. “I had to go on bed rest about a week before I delivered my son. My dogs were left at home. I had them being cared for.”

Brighton says she entrusted her 14-year-old brother to watch her three dogs. She says he was out walking one of them when the two female dogs were taken by THS. She claims he cannot read so he did not know there was a notice on the door.

“Once I had gotten out and was able to walk around more so without being in constant pain, I went over to the apartment to see what the heck was going on and that is when I found the notice finally,” said Brighton.

Brighton says she drove straight to the shelter after that, only to get no answers. She says to took to social media to hopefully find something out there, not expecting all the attention her post was going to get.

“I honestly thought okay, maybe I’d have a few like, okay that sucks, I’m sorry that happened type of thing, I did not expect it to go anywhere that it did whatsoever,” said Brighton.

THS also took to Facebook, posting in its defense, and drawing in even more attention to the situation.

“The only reason we went and did it on Facebook was just to answer the people that were bombarding our Facebook page,” said Heaven.

Brighton tells 13 Action News that she understands why her dogs were initially taken.

“Yes, I do. I understand initially, I just feel that I should’ve been given answers, a chance to explain what had happened to be able to bring my dogs home,” said Brighton.

Still hoping for her dogs back, Brighton says she does wish she could go back and change how she handled some things.

“Not leaving kids in charge of dogs. Probably look into boarding,” Brighton said.

She says she is hoping whoever adopted her dogs is willing to hear her out.

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