Hang on, Annie — Here comes Adam Hill

August 12, 2010

Public outrage over the failure of San Luis Obispo County officials to return a stray dog to her original owner continued to build early Thursday, forcing an emergency meeting called by District 3 county supervisor Adam Hill.

The afternoon meeting, believed to include Hill along with county government CEO Jim Grant, county health agency head Jeff Hamm, and county counsel Warren Jensen, was held to explore possible ways of returning the Australian shepherd dog Annie to her original owner, Chuck Hogue of Arroyo Grande.

After the meeting, Hill, who owns two shepherd dogs himself, said that he will be meeting soon with the family who currently has the dog in an attempt to convince them to surrender Annie. The goal now, Hill said, was reunification between Annie and Hogue.

The supervisor also asked for the public to tone down the angry rhetoric towards the family in discussing the issue.

The new strategy stands in marked contrast to the position previously taken by Hamm, who publicly defended county animal services’ handling of the dog and indicated that Annie would likely stay with her new owners.

Hamm’s comments sparked a firestorm of angry phone calls and emails A Facebook page, calling for the return of Annie to Hogue had more than 500 supporters within 24 hours. Local talk radio was swamped with phone calls Thursday, almost universally in support of Hogue.

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For people who don’t have facebook accounts and aren’t on the e-mail list. Here is an update from Dave Congalton:

Subject: Tuesday Update

Hello Team Annie —

Here’s the latest from Annie Central:

First, thanks to Verena Maier, an account has been set up at Rabobank:

“Friends of Annie” Benefit Account

There is an account number (9432662150)

You can make a donation at ANY Rabobank branch. Verena is in charge of the money and I trust her completely. If you want to donate, this is how you do it. Thanks in advance.

Second, KVEC Radio 920 AM coverage offers a 1-2 combination.

On Wednesday from 5:05 to 6 p.m., we’ll hear from shelter volunteers who want to discuss the story.

On Thursday from 5:05 to 6 p.m., we’ll hear from supervisor Adam Hill and county counsel representative.

You can hear either interview on the Internet at http://www.facebook.com/l/4ab19lJQFcWVAQ0mSbzbUcc1APA;www.920kvec.com.

Finally, a couple last points. Yes, I have been misspelling Chuck’s last name throughout. I apologize. It got sent out in the local media that way and I’m as guilty as the rest for getting it wrong. The change has been made.

More importantly, allow me to address the concerns of some that I am organizing some kind of “witch hunt” against the family who has Annie. That I’m tracking them down and I’m going to organize a protest outside their house and blast their personal information over the radio,

It is a fine line that I am walking – granted. I understand that this family did the right thing by coming forward and adopting a dog from the shelter. My frustration is that when they heard Chuck’s story, they still insisted on keeping the dog.

I fight for Chuck. And I fight for Annie. My fear is that if we don’t continue to organize and make our voices heard, then The Powers That Be will just assume that it has blown over and they don’t need to worry about Chuck anymore.

So to me, it’s about getting organized, making our voices heard, and keep all moral and humane options on the table. I have (I hope) a reputation for fairness that I’ve cultivated over the last 18 years — I’m not about to change.


Isn’t it ironic that a story such as this one, which should bring out the best in all people has also brought out what is reprehensible in some?

I have a feeling that Annie and Mr. Hogue will be reunited soon. I hope that I’m right.

Annie’s captors need to listen to this mp3 audio of Chuck talking about Annie on the radio this morning:


When you are throwing dirt, you are losing ground.

But thanks for the link

Here is an e-mail Dave sent out yesterday to all the RETURN ANNIE FaceBook members.:

Dave CongaltonAugust 15, 2010 at 10:25pm

Subject: Sunday Night

I bring you greetings from Seattle. I shall be returning to San Luis Obispo shortly; back on the radio on Wednesday.

First, I am absaolutely stunned to see more than 1200 folks signed up on this FB page. Thank you! And I love the photos that have been added. Check them out, please. Spread the word. Let’s get another 1200 this week.

Second, I’ve been told that county officials are continuing their dialogue with “the family” this week. That’s all I know.

Third, however, a factor I’ve heard from several sources is that there’s a child involved with the new family. At first, that fact gave me pause, but then I realized this was actually an opportunity.

I want Annie returned to Chuck Hogue — that deson’t mean the New Family is totally excluded from being in her life. Why can’t annie go live on the ranch again and let the new family come visit? Why can’t the child develop a relationship with Chuck Hogue? Why can’t this become a teachabel moment where the child learns some important lessons? I see this as a potential win-win situation. Regardless:

Four, I am going to talk to Chuck and see what he wants to do. If he is still interested in pursuing legal action, I am going to come back to you and ask for help in raising legal fees to help Chuck. I hope it won’t come to that, but we have to be prepared to support Chuck.

Five, We’ve got 1200 FB friends. One of you must know someone at the LA Times, the SF Chronicle–SOME REGIONAL MEDIA OUTLET. If you do, get this story to them.

Six, can someoby get to the Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday and speak in public comment? Anything to keep the issue in front of the county?

Adam Hill has asked for our cooperation and patience. I understand and I agree. However, we must also remind the county that mistakes have been made, we are watching, and we will proceed if the dog is not returned.

Six, Finally, the obvious. We’ve got to find Annie. We’ve got to find out where she is staying. People know. We just have to be able to get them to talk to us. I have some ideas on that, but will hold off and give Adam Hill this week.

That’s all I know, folks. Be well.


Cindy and slorider are seriously unbalanced and dangerous people. I would like to see Annie go back to Mr. Hogue but not by listening to those two crack pots.

Do I detect Solomon on this blog? LMAO

Thomas Paine has left one comment agreeing the dog should go home. Cindy and SLORider have left twentysome with caps and unkind remarks for those who would disagree…. maybe Thomas Paine has low tolerance for mobocracy in any case,

Please direct your comments to the story at hand NOT at other people posting here,thank you

If anyone has questions and or suggestions for your humble moderator use the email link over in the right hand column ,

There are HTML tags near the bottom of the comment guidelines page for those of you who wish to use them to emphasize a word, CAPS are discouraged thank you.

Please back up your claim, other than you disagree. Posts such are yours, mr. anon, are worthless. You neither back up your words with substance, nor your name. You say much more about yourself in so few words.


ThomasPaine, You say that you hope Annie is returned to Dr Hogue and just how do you suggest that comes to fruition? So far I have

1) Made the phone calls and suggested others call

2) Supported the FaceBook Group

3) Supported the Protest

4) Supported Adam Hill and his attempts to talk with Annie’s Captors

5) Joined two other people to offer the captors the cost of another dog, refund all their expenses to date and even donate additional funds for the training of a new dog etc.

6) Agreed to donate to a suggested legal defense fund if it comes to that.

Annies captors have remained adamant that they will not return Annie and I remind you that they were informed about Mr. Hogue two days after they took her home. This family is fully aware of the circumstances by which Annie jumped out of her owners parked truck on his ranch, they know he recently lost his wife and has no children, they know he was her owner for 7 years and that she is a ranch dog who loved her life Mr. Hogue and he loves her.

After doing all of the above I suggested that a group should start picketing their house. Tell me what have you done to help besides say you would like to see Annie returned while proceeding to call two supporters who are willing to put their time and money where their mouth is a bunch of names?

By the way, I should have supported the rally that SLORyder had at last week’s Thursday Night Market. I figured there would be so many people that I didn’t need to show up. Lot’s of people all thought the same thing. I’ll be there this Thursday and I’ll bring friends.

Be advised that Annie has been shaved and looks different now:


Thanks for the update SLORider