Annie’s new owners unleash their anger on Facebook

August 28, 2010

The woman who adopted Annie the dog from county Animal Services last July finally broke her silence Friday night in a scathing public letter posted on Facebook.

Using the pen name “Sasha Sampson,” the Arroyo Grande woman responded to the ongoing media barrage and the 3500-plus members of the “Give Chuck Hoage Back His Dog” page on Facebook.

“Since anonymous hang up calls, a green jeep, a white truck parked across the street from my house according to my daughter who has been uneasy about the unfamiliar vehicles sitting outside our house, since the release of our names on Tuesday by the County. What sane person would “reveal” themselves to the lynch mob mentality?” Sampson said in her letter.

“The most recent Facebook comment stating “they would not have a house to return to and I hope they’d have good insurance…”, forced me to return home early from vacation to a frighten daughter. Why would we come forward when the public outcry painted us as the “bad guys” and the reporting by the Tribune clearly biased toward Hoage. To add more drama, a misinformed radio host inflaming the public and a County Supervisor, claiming to negotiate a return, when he has never spoken to us or we agreeing to meet with him.”

Sampson goes on to defend herself against criticism by The Tribune by pointing out the mistakes Chuck Hoage, the dog’s original owner, made by not having tags on Annie, nor even bothering to search for her at the county shelter.

“If he (Hoage) loved Annie so much why didn’t he make a trip to the shelter? Hoage also never filed a lost dog report (Tribune 8/11) according to Jeff Hamm. Why not? Since the story broke, pictures have been posted all over the newspapers and internet but not once did Hoage think to post a picture at the Animal Shelter. If the same energy that was put into reunification was put into locating Annie things might have been different.”

Sampson stressed that she and her family were very familiar with the Australian shepherd breed and had been taking proper care of the dog. She also stated that the family had been away on vacation and had no idea of the media firestorm until a visit from Dr. Eric Anderson, general manager of Animal Services.

The accidental release of her name, address, and phone number by county counsel last Tuesday especially angered Sampson. The suggestion of a possible lawsuit is quite clear: “The biggest mistake, which may cost the County, is the release of our personal information by Assistant County Counsel Rita Neal who signed the cover letter with our personal information and released it to Kitty Crockett. This action has put us in harms way, created tremendous emotional stress and could result in legal trouble for County Counsel Warren Jensen. What a big faux pau, I struggle sleeping at night worrying about possible vandalism retaliation.”

Sampson vented at protesters from last Tuesday’s rally in San Luis Obispo by challenging them to put their energy into issues such as education and homelessness.

KVEC radio talk show host Dave Congalton also came under attack for leaving a voice message on the Arroyo Grande home phone. Sampson said she has given a copy of the voice mail to the Arroyo Grande police, the Tribune, and county counsel.

“What about Hoage’s personal advocate Dave Congalton? On 8/26 in the Tribune he said “he is very concerned about the new owners’ names being released and he was trying to tone things down”. However this didn’t stop him on Tuesday, August 24 @ 2:19 calling my home while I was away frightening my daughter who had to stay the night with a neighbor after listening to his voice mail stating, “I’m calling mainly to let you know if I know a lot of other people are about to know and I’m hoping that some way we can resolve this… we need to talk sooner than later””

Congalton admitted making the phone call. “I gave out her personal information to no one,” Congalton said. “But I was extremely concerned when the family’s personal data accidentally became public. I reached out to them, urging them to meet with Adam Hill sooner rather than later. Under the circumstances, I didn’t think we could wait another week.”

After also attacking county supervisor  Hill for sitting outside her house, hoping to find someone home, Sampson said she hoped “that no one ever has to endure an adoptive experience like this.” She also announced that Annie is “safe, happy, outdoors, and running daily.” Sampson asked for privacy so that she and Hoage could discuss Annie’s future privately.

In response to Sampson’s letter, Verena Maier, coordinator of Saturday’s planned rally in Arroyo Grande on behalf of Hoage and Annie, announced late Friday night that the rally would be cancelled.



  1. goblow says:

    Annie is home with Chuck that is great.I agree with a lot other folks that this never would have got so big if Annie was returned in the first place.What was the other family actually thinking? About them selves and not Chuck and how he felt about Annie.

    (-3) 27 Total Votes - 12 up - 15 down


    content removed by request, ( personal attack)
    CCN Moderator

    (-8) 18 Total Votes - 5 up - 13 down
    • utube says:

      “Sasha” on the defense…

      (3) 9 Total Votes - 6 up - 3 down
    • Nancy says:

      Bob Cuddy made an idiot out of himself., half of his column was rife with error and lacked supporting facts. There were never any threats and Sasha is anything but a victim. She outright lied in her letter about not knowing of all the conflict, or having been approached by Eric Anderson before she left town. The police say there have been no stalkers or anything odd in her neighbor hood. She can’t prove one single threat that she received. She doesn’t have any license plate numbers or caller ID #’s or any messages or threatening e-mails. Imagine that, 4000 terrorist and not one threat!
      As for Annie having an impacted tooth, Sasha knew about it and went on vacation instead of having it treated. That woman is just one contradiction after another.

      (10) 30 Total Votes - 20 up - 10 down
  3. Alon_Perlman says:

    Now I see why some people prefer the company of dogs to humans,
    And it is because Dogs can’t be _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

    (6) 20 Total Votes - 13 up - 7 down
  4. JordanJ says:

    Bravo, I’m so please to hear that Sasha has agreed to return Annie to Chuck. That is the right thing to do. There are many wonderful dog’s out there that need this family. I’m certain they will find another special dog soon that they can call their own. God Bless and Thank You for returning her.

    (14) 32 Total Votes - 23 up - 9 down
    • easymoney says:

      So why all the song and dance, when just doing the right thing could have been done weeks ago?

      (29) 57 Total Votes - 43 up - 14 down
      • Nancy says:

        These people are a real piece of work. Take a look at the Santa Maria Times. She is claiming that she didn’t know about all this upset until Dr Anderson actually went to her home and spoke to them about returning Annie. Funny thing is that she fails to admit that Dr Anderson went to see them prior to her and her husband leaving for vacation, after they had “again” told the AS that they would not return Annie to Chuck. Then we all get this letter about how their daughter was home alone and they had to return early and that they didn’t know any of this was going on because they don’t read the papers, but she admits that Anderson told them about it and I believe the word they used about their decision as expressed to Anderson was “ADAMANT”. Now she claims they simply said that they were very happy with Annie!
        It’s called : ” you reap what you sow”.

        (19) 55 Total Votes - 37 up - 18 down
      • RU4Real says:

        I’m NOT holding my breath until I hear that Annie has been safely returned to Mr. Hoage. The “adoptive family” should have done the RIGHT THING weeks ago & not put Mr. Hoage through all this torture. Call me a skeptic, but I’m wondering if they’re waiting for the “money pot” to grow bigger? Makes me wonder even more about their ethics & motives, when I hear of a “possible law suit with the County”.

        (10) 48 Total Votes - 29 up - 19 down
        • MAD HATTER says:

          “Call me a skeptic, but I’m wondering if they’re waiting for the “money pot” to grow bigger? Makes me wonder even more about their ethics & motives, when I hear of a “possible law suit with the County.” It’s amazing how all of you are slapping each other on the back here and on facebook thinking you made a difference. Apparently you didn’t read that letter, post very well. This issue is far from over. If these people decide to sue, so be it. After all, like she said, they did nothing wrong. As for you all here, it’s amazing how you all turn face with tales between your legs when the heat was turned up. Now maybe you all can give it a rest and go jump onto the next mess to grace San luis County.

          (-13) 39 Total Votes - 13 up - 26 down
          • Cindy says:

            They did plenty wrong and they still haven’t contacted Chuck to return her. The poor man has been waiting since yesterday morning. How selfish can anybody be? Pretty damn selfish if you ask me. I read her statements to the SM Sun. She said she had spoke with Chuck and then in the next sentence she say’s she will return Annie when she has an opportunity to speak with Chuck.! CHUCK IS WAITING and as of noon there was no word from them.

            (8) 38 Total Votes - 23 up - 15 down
  5. Big Deal says:

    Well, I guess I was right. The dog and pony show is on! Let’s see if a settlement to ease the pain and suffering of Sasha Sampson soothes the savage beast. I see a lot of back peddling of the tongue waggers both on the air and on tv. Let’s see how many more politicians get into the circus, shall we? Very sad, very sad.

    I’ve got my ring side seat. We just need a few muzzles on some folks so SLO County can get back to the business of solving its financial crisis, bring some jobs back to the community so people can work instead of minding other people’s business. Maybe we can get some tax revenues generated to pay for the pending lawsuit that Sasha plans to file.

    C’mon SLO County– You’re better than this… aren’t you?

    (-5) 35 Total Votes - 15 up - 20 down
    • meb says:

      Could of ended very nicely a long time ago!!!

      (21) 39 Total Votes - 30 up - 9 down
  6. SLOBIRD says:

    Please, everyone, let’s be adults and agree to disagree. Acting like bully children is riduculous. No one has mentioned the people that originally picked Annie up, kept her for 10days before taking her to the shelter. Yes, mistakes could have been made by Mr. Houge, by the County, by “Sasha”, and yes, maybe Dave got a little more involved than he should have, But anyone that knows Dave, listens to his show and has heard his involvement and stories about animals knows his commitment and passion for them. We are all better off for advocates of animals, children, homeless, etc. Everyone needs to take a deep breathe as the facts may or may not be distorted from the county (confusing at bes,t lots of discrepancies depending on who you talk to), Mr. Houge and that letter and statements from “Sasha” are even more confusing. Let’s take a day off and hope that good things come in the next couple of days. Name calling and nastiness is very rude for all good intented participants.

    (17) 33 Total Votes - 25 up - 8 down
  7. danika says:

    This woman is gonna sue. She is a victim of circumstance BUT….that does NOT alleviate her MORAL obligation to return Annie to Chuck. Was she wronged when her personal info was released? Absolutely. Has she suffered because of it…I am sure she will find a few attorneys to tell her she has. Cha-ching! I just hope I have jury duty that day…

    This is ridiculous. Annie is not her dog. Period. She may have possession of her but Annie is Chuck’s, has always been Chuck’s, and will always BE Chuck’s.

    (35) 61 Total Votes - 48 up - 13 down
    • MarkJames says:

      Danika, This person can not sue. She has sustained no damages. I know people think they can sue because they are upset over something but unless she can prove that the release of her name damaged her in some way she is out of luck.

      (13) 35 Total Votes - 24 up - 11 down
      • taxpayer says:

        Anyone can sue for anything. When someone sues you, you have to pay a lawyer to defend your position or defend yourself in court. Even though I think Dave’s heart is in the right place on this I’m afraid that he’s past the point of no return as far as being sued goes. I hope I’m wrong. I don’t think he’s doing himself any good by continuing to post but that’s just my opinion. As far as being anonymous goes, 90% of the things that Karen postsare based upon anonymous sources. Anyway, i just hope people aren’t afraid to adopt anymore pets from the animal shelter because of this. I’m more concerned about the pets at the shelter than I am about Annie.

        (21) 31 Total Votes - 26 up - 5 down
        • SLORider says:

          And when you sue frivolously you have to pay both lawyers when you lose!

          (13) 25 Total Votes - 19 up - 6 down
          • taxpayer says:

            There is absolutely no chance she will lose.

            (-9) 27 Total Votes - 9 up - 18 down
            • SLORider says:

              She has absolutely no grounds to sue, thus she can’t win.

              (9) 27 Total Votes - 18 up - 9 down
              • taxpayer says:

                I repeat, anyone can sue for anything. Then the party who has been sued has to respond. It happens everyday. This is going to cost everyone a lot of money. I think you need to talk to an attorney about this. She has plenty of grounds to sue and she’s going to win if she does. Even if she loses it will be a financial burden on everyone involved. This country is based upon laws that apply to everyone. I feel sorry for everyone involved. I especially feel sorry for the pets that need adoption at the animal shelter. How many animals will be put down because of the lack of people who are willing to adopt and be subjected to what this person has gone through? There are long term consequences to this whole story.

                (-7) 23 Total Votes - 8 up - 15 down
                • SLORider says:

                  I repeat, and when you sue frivolously, you have to pay both attorneys. She has no damages.

                  And, if she sues—her name will be public.

                  (11) 25 Total Votes - 18 up - 7 down
                • taxpayer says:

                  This will end up in court. I guarantee that the court will access a fine for damages. You can’t mess with people’s lives like this without consequences. This is going to cost a lot of people a lot of money. She has a solid case. I think you need to look up pain and suffering and psychological damages. She will win if she goes to court. Everyone involved in this harassment of someone who legally adopted a dog will pay. What started out as something positive has now degraded into making fun a someone’s daughter because she got , what she perceived as threatening phone calls, while the public was told that she was home alone. Strange cars parked in front of the house
                  while she was home alone. All because someone did a legal adoption of a pet at the Animal Shelter. How many dogs and cats will be put down from lack of adoptees, because of the action of Annie supporters? I feel sorry for everyone involved in this fiasco.

                  (-5) 33 Total Votes - 14 up - 19 down
                • SLORider says:

                  I pray this does go to court. Then we will all know her name and will laugh at her when she loses. I think Chuck should sue her for mental anguish and emotional distress. She can’t mess with people’s lives like this without consequences, ya know? Maybe I will sue her as well, since as you say, everyone can sue for anything, right?

                  #1) The release of her name is not prohibited. CPRA actually requires it!

                  #2) She has no proof of any damage whatsoever.

                  #3) She can prove no correlation to the CPRA release–PLENTY of people already knew her name.

                  #4) She certainly cannot prove any correlation to cars parked outside (as she can’t even prove that), and CCN or Dave or the other party.

                  You need to study tort and P.I. law. Maybe I will sue you, too!

                  (5) 33 Total Votes - 19 up - 14 down
        • JordanJ says:

          taxpayer, There is such a thing as bringing a frivolous lawsuit and even malicious prosecution. Anyone bringing a frivolous law suit can be required to pay the defendants attorney fees. This law suit stuff lacks all merit no one can sue Dave for anything, just speak to an attorney and they will tell you. People have already tried that with CalCoastNews in the past. You can’t win a law suit on hurt feelings or anger issues unless you are slandered (untrue reporting) and can prove liable and or damages. So far this families name hasn’t even come out to the public and thousands of people believe that a dog is a family member and that you don’t willfully keep someones family member including the dog. Anyone trying to sue will make a fool of themselves and announce to the public that they lack moral aptitude, they will also end up with the case being dismissed for lack of foundation. Thank You Dave, CCN and everyone who supported this effort and for keeping us all up to date.

          P.S. Not everyone can like every public figure and no public figure is ever liked or appreciated by everyone. There are alway’s those with personality differences. All’s well that ends well. 3 CHEERS TO DAVE CONGALON

          (9) 19 Total Votes - 14 up - 5 down

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