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.


Just return the damn dog! The issue would end immediately. Who cares who fanned what flames, this is just fanning more flames. This is a very simple issue, and you should be grateful that Mr. Hoage is a reasonable person. Personally, if it were my dog, I would have just come taken it, end of story.


Maybe the Glenn Beck show coming to KVEC will last more hours than scheduled.

Undoubtably with more value than the Congoalton/Annie saga.


I remember when my sister-in-law said to me,” I feEeeel about my dogs the way you feel about your children!” I Laughed, I said,” there is a difference… hungry enough and I’d eat your dogs!.”

BTW , Ladies, it’s nice of you to come to the rescue of this guy… but he really needs to man-up and find his mojo.

Dave, you really need to mellow the folks out here… the county did wrong by giving out information and your fanning the flames is unfortunate… should something happen… well… there is accountability… and maybe someone might file outside this county and you know what happens then…. justice.

inverse Condemnation

————————–What a sad day in San Luis Obispo County! I have mised feelings about who should have Annie!

I do however feel that our County needs to be more responsible for their actions when it comes to County residents! This new website is set up to show the help of a County Supervisor and show how this County trys to make behind the seens deals that ultimatly affect public health and safety!

““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.”


I’m sorry but if Mr. Hogues name is public knowledge then the other party should be as well. Fair is fair.

The county and the animal control department are the culprets here. They have dropped the ball from the get go…

inverse Condemnation

———————–This County has a lot to be ashamed of! I hope that Katcho Achadjian can help —-


Animal adoption records are considered public records. The adopters name does not have to be redacted. It was done in this case because of all the controversy. The county made an honest error in failing to redact on the last page and immediately sort to correct it. They are not liable for something that didn’t happen. No one harmed this family in anyway. Many people know the name, including the daughters friends and neighbors. Give the damn dog back.


It appears that if the new owners want to sue KVEC, Dave, San Luis Obispo County and Supervisor Hill they will have an open and shut case. Unfortunately, this genie has gotten too far out of the bottle. It’s a bad situation for everyone but the law is on the side of the new owners. I’m afraid this will stop many people from adopting from the Animal Shelter. There just seems to be too much risk in adopting. That’s the message that seems to come from this. That’s sad.


Exactly taxpayer.

It was interesting when Larry a long time employee from DAS phoned into Congalton’s show last week and said how he looked into the parking lot but there were no cars of prospective new owners or even volunteers to walk the dogs. When he looked into the kennels, all he saw were full cages. He wondered where were all the folks who have been so riled up by this situation of lost and abandoned dogs?

And he went further to state that if you just changed a few key elements about this story (i.e. the owner was a homeless guy vs. “rancher” and the dog was a Pit Bull vs an Aussie but everything else was the same: an intact female dog with no personal or county tags, no microchip and an owner that didn’t personally visit the shelter in a timely fashin, etc.) the whole hue and cry over this situation would likely not have happened. Dave of course, would not address his valid point and couldn’t marginalize his message quick enough by getting him off the air. I would go step one further and say that the homeless owner would be the one mercilessly crucified on line most likely by the very same folks who are such ardent Hogue supporters…… all in the context of how the info is presented.



Gee whiz….it’s a dog..his pet. Why would anyone want to separate an owner from his pet. Give me a break!

Kevin Rice

Negative, taxpayer. (1) You must prove damages, which there has been none; (2) You must prove causation, which there has been none.


Wrong taxpayer, This isn’t going to stop people from adopting from the shelter. This is a rare circumstance hat occurred, most people who adopt from the AS are animal lovers and would never have a problem returning an animal to it’s rightful owner especially when they are informed within a few day’s like Shasa was informed. If I had been Shasa I would have been pleased to know that the dog I adopted actually had a 7 year relationship with a loving owner who had been looking for her. I would have felt like we were “all” winners, Annie, Chuck and me because the dog I cared for and adopted was going home with the family she loved and I would now have a chance to save somebody else. Love is the most unselfish emotion in the world, it’s easy to do the right thing and be happy about doing it when you have true love in your heart.


It is unfortunate that Dave sees himself as the torch bearer of local issues. Annie or whatever her new name is , is just another chance for Congalton to proove he has outlived his usefulness on the radio or any other public forum. Hopefully his sponsors, Idlers and Spencers will distance themselves from this relic as rapidly as Davey tried to backpeddle from his meddling when the name of the new owners was released.

Time to retire Dave. Collect some more animals…With any luck Cal Coast News will send you packing as well.


“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””

this is no way for grown man to talk to someone’s child


That so called child is old enough to stay home alone while her mother goes off on a weeks vacation.


Microchipping costs $20.


Which, ‘2Dogs’, is 2 weeks food budget for some.

If this guy doesn’t have the money to tag or microchip his dog, he probably didn’t have the gas money to drive to Animal Services every day looking for Annie, either.

Yes, there are some folks in this county that are that poor. They need our help and support.

It sounds like ‘Sasha’ is punishing Mr. Hoague for being a rotten dog owner as a means to justify keeping the dog – to settle her own guilt, I suspect. Or she just rationalizes it as he’s too poor to keep Annie. Either way, ‘Sasha’ has twisted morals.

I bet when ‘Sasha’ was a kid, if a ball flew into her back yard, she kept it and justified it as ‘well, its in my yard now so it doesn’t belong to YOU anymore’ – even if the owner came to the door, knocked, apologized and politely asked for the ball back. Or she charged a finders fee.

(The previous 2 paragraphs are me venting – not factual, just observational).

And for the record: Just because an animal is ‘chipped’ or ‘tagged’ does not guarantee an animal’s return to its owner once it disappears. The lack of chips or tags in this case should not prevent the dog from being returned to its owner. I hope no one – including ‘Sasha’ – is suggesting that.