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.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

If these ‘captors’ (adopting SLORiders appropriate term) have children I feel sorry for those children. They will have to hide their new dog from their school mates. These people aren’t only cruel to animals and their fellowman but they are cruel to their children. They say they have ‘grief ‘ issues and they are keeping Annie from another grieving person because she is assisting them to heal! Annie can’t heal them.

To quote Nancy: ” How does it feel to be the most hated family in the county?”

Try healing from that.

Hogue could have done a better job of keeping his dog registered via the chip process and I imagine he will do so in the future. Hogue went to great lengths to find his dog.

Animal Services eventually received the dog and it was adopted out to these cretins who will not return her. Animal Services made a mistake.

Now the problem is compounded by the same sort of feckless county leadership that has this county swirling down the toilet. This morning’s Trib says Adam Hill is willing to apologize to the cretins and is willing to buy them a replacement puppy. Will he genuflect when he presents the puppy to them also? Such pathetic pandering to these cretins is exactly what creates and emboldens this type of behavior.

Tell County Counsel to take their feet off of their desk for a few minutes, research the SLO Gov’t Code and find some sort of subjective loophole to enable the county to take the dog from the cretins. If they can’t find anything, talk to a public defender….they’re usually more creative. They do it all the time for certain types of white collar crime and to thwart developers. Then write the cretins with Annie a simple demand letter telling them to return the dog. Maybe even include a short sappy apology. Then GO GET THE DOG!

Enough already!

There are literally hundred’s of people who would like to picket this house. Anyone that knowingly keeps someone else’s dog just because they can do it deserves a crowd in their front yard for all the neighbors to witness. They only had Annie a couple of day;s when they were informed that her owner had been looking for her the entire time. Annie’s owner has lost his wife recently and now his dog is being held captive. Just name the address and I’ll be there with lots of friends.

To Annie’s captors, How does it feel to be the most hated family in the county?

They can’t hide forever. They will eventually become known and probably sooner than later. My kids have their sign’s ready. I’m the designated driver.

I planned on posting the captors name and address here today so that we could all go and picket their house. Problem is that I’m told that they have received some real threats. It only takes that .0001% who possibly want to do some real harm to put a damper on disclosure. I can’t with good conscious post their names on a public blog. I understand that there are still some officials working on other means to return Annie to Dr. Hogue, lets hope for the best for now.

Cindy, I’m having a hard time believing that you actually know these people. Although, it seems there are a couple ardent defenders posting so maybe quite a few people know who it is. Anyway, one would think this is the highest guarded secret in the county right now. Maybe you can elaborate on how you coincidentally know this information. No one should be making threats—actually, I don’t believe anyone has except in the minds of the thief-lovers. They hopefully are reading the news and will wake up soon and do the right thing.

Do you have a generic address where I can contact you?

Cindy you are insane!!! Regardless of who there are , whatever you stance is in this, that is a very harmful and irresponsible thing to do. I do not know these people. Do I continue to defend them. Absolutley, from people like you , who have taken this so damn far! Really, why have you let this case get to you so much where you would post their address on a public forum? I am just uterly baffled.

Shame on anyone who wants to disclose these peoples home number or address anywhere. That is just WAY above the issue. I hope for their sake and yours you do not post it. There will be reprecusions. I do not post that as a threat , as I have not fallen off my rocket as many of you who want harm done to these people or picketing their home have. But please if you are all about public disclosure on private lives, feel free to post YOUR address and phone number. I’m sure a few people wouldnt mind coming by for a visit.

LOL, GeminiSappho, Feel free to come and picket my house but I won’t be here. I’ll be picketing the other house. My neighbors will get a big kick out of you as they all own dog’s that belong to them. No captives in this neighborhood.

So post your address then!

Honest, generous people? These honest people adopted someone elses’s dog. These people who claim to be replacing a deceased animal so that the family can heal chose an 8 year old purebred who was the most valuable dog in the shelter. There were many younger dogs that had a much longer life to spend with a family who have children. These people don’t add up.

Knowing that they have another man’s dog and refusing to return it makes them anything but kind and generous. They are about as wrong as they can be.

The people that have Annie need to give her back to her rightful owner. My heart goes out to Mr. Hogue.

Shame on Annie’s captors! Return Annie! It’s the right thing to do.

Wow…..some generous, kind-hearted folks LEGALLY adopted a stray dog at the shelter and they are vilefied and called “captors”?! Really? Seriously??

Let this story be a precautionary tale for all……at least do the MINIMUM (ie collar ID – can use a Sharpie to write your phone number on the collar, buy ID tags, microchip, legally license your pet as required by law, have your dog adequately restrained at all times……being untethered in the back of the truck doesn’t count even for “ranch dogs”, etc.) to properly identify your pet(s) so they stand a reasonable chance of making their back to you when the unexpected happens. It’s called taking responsibility for you and yours and even when we do all the right things, it doesn’t mean things will work out and we get them back but it sure raises the odds of a happy outcome for all.

As much as I would be heartbroken to lose my dog, at the end of the day, I would be thankful that someone else saw her potential, adopted her and gave her a home instead of her being euthanized and cremated due to my gross oversight of not doing even the bare minimum to keep her safe and with me. Sometimes there are negative consequences to our actions or in this case, inactions; sucks for sure but that’s life.

My thoughts go out to all caught up in this mess as there are no easy resolutions at this time; someone is bound to be hurt and disappointed when it’s all said and done that’s for sure.


“generous, kind-hearted folks” would return Annie to her owner.

Your denigration of someone you don’t know using false facts is hyperbole. However, I suspect you know Annie’s captors. Please tell them to do the right thing and return the dog. They owe it to Annie.

RESPONSIBLE people do the bare minimum to keep their pets safe, Mr. Hogue did not do the bare minimum. Regardless if “thecat” knows the generous, kind-hearted folks, or not, Mr. Hogue is a negligent owner. Shame on everyone one who vilifies these generous , kind-hearted folks as you do not know their story. We do know Mr. Hogues story though. A negligent owner, without proper id ,as required BY LAW, proper restraint as REQUIRED BY LAW. Mr. Houge wants the law to step in and “save” his dog , yet he himself is above it?

You write as a sycophant.

Again, “generous, kind-hearted folks” would return Annie to her owner.

SLOrider do you have anything intelligent to say here or are you just ignoramus? Keep Googling those big words so you can seem to be.

I am a huge animal lover. I have many animals of my own and my line of work is with animals. If I was in Mr. Hogue’s position I would feel terrible. I would miss my friend and I would obviously want my friend to come home to me after being in my life so long. I would hope the new owners would do the “right” thing by giving my pet back to me.

Yet try to be objective about it and calm down and think about the facts. Mr. Hogue, bottom line, did not properly restrain or ID his pet to ensure her safe return and that is his pure negligence, no other way to put it. He never registered his dog with the county, which is required, and if he had done so the county could have easily found where Annie belonged. He never micro chipped her, which in most cases will help return your pet to you. Although Mr. Hogue never had access to a computer, asking a friend or colleague to check online everyday is not difficult, nor is going to his local library for free internet access. I find it hard to believe. I feel Mr. Hogue’s account of how hard he looked for Annie a little suspect.

The new owners have been vilified and made to be some sort of “dognappers” Seriously? These people legally adopted a dog, from a legal shelter, that legally had the right to adopt out this dog to a new home. The waiting period of 3 days was over and then some. Do I hope that Annie goes home, sort of. Yet how do we know how Annie’s life was before this incident, did everyone know her condition before being lost? How do we not know Annie isn’t in a better home? We don’t we assume.

I have always been a Congalton supporter. Yet I am deeply saddened by the way he has gone about this incident. He has incited almost a riot like atmosphere for this issue. He has people SO worked up about this story that even threats have come to the new owners. Dave, you should have gone about this a little more tactfully. You have a huge community that supports you, and with that comes a HUGE level of responsibility. To report the news is to act objectively, you have not done so in this case, not in the slightest. I don’t doubt your true love for animals but aren’t those ratings nice right about now?

If I ever lose my dog, I want Dave Congalton on my side.

GeminiSappho, I keep hearing about what Dr Hogue did wrong. I disagree with you. Lot’s of people did wrong. The people who initially picked up Annie kept her for a couple of weeks. This foiled Chuck’s attempts at finding Annie. (I hope we don’t find out that those are the people who ended up adopting her). Chuck filed a report with the AS. Unfortunately it doesn’t sound like Annie was properly entered into the AS data base correctly or not at all for sometime. How difficult is it to spot a pure bread Aussie? Chuck did initially check the AS lost and found description lines but again, someone else had Annie at the time (a long time).

Eventually he depended on the fact that they had a missing report on her and they did find her and call him. The problem was that the AS was so messed up that they had already adopted her. Does that make any sense? Why is it Chuck’s fault and why mention that he doesn’t own a computer and didn’t look on line? Looking on line shouldn’t have been necessary. Why is it always someone else’s fault when our gov screws up? We have been getting nothing but mediocrity for years but you would rather point a finger at Dave when people get upset because he told us about it. This is something that we feel we can all do something about and do it fast.

Too often we are stuck having to say “oh well”. I’m not surprised that this happened at the AS. A 25K diamond ring was stolen in Atascadero last month and a week later the APD got a call from K-Jons jewelers (in Atascadero) about two suspicious characters attempting to sell a diamond ring valued at 25K. The APD didn’t put it together. This stuff happens all the time with our local gov. This time the people are demanding that a wrong be made right. It’s someone’s family member and many of us can relate to just how personal that is.

Thank You Dave Congalton and Supervisor Adam Hill.

I’m also so glad to hear that this has gotten so much publicity that they’ve been forced to do the right thing. I can only relate it to my own relationship with my dogs, and if this happened to me, I would feel like my child had been kidnapped. The dog is bonded to his owner just as much as the owner bonds to his dog. No government entity should be able to interfere with that- it’s just not right. Thanks to CCN on behalf of all the animal-lovers in the county for being relentless with this story!

Hopefully, the family does not return Annie, as the author of the above entry stated “the owner of this beautiful dog didn’t take any precautions to preclude this from happening” and most likely this will occur in the future if Annie is returned to this ‘IRRESPONSIBLE” previous owner, if this Family returns Annie they are “endangering” her based on this owners “demonstrated” careless actions, keep Annie in order to protect her, Dogs such as this are very intelligent “they do not just run away from their owners without going back”, so, something is not as it appears, again, this Family may regret sending this Beautiful creature back to an ‘Irresponsible” Owner, she absolutely must stay with this loving Family…….

rest12010, You sound ridiculous. Hogue had Annie 8 years and there was never an incident. She was well loved and loved working as a ranch dog. I’m sure she is miserable but making the best of it. These people were contacted within two days of having adopted Annie and refused to return her. Something is very wrong with people like that. Eventually their name is going to get out and they will end up with a bunch of picketers in their front yard. What ever happened to moral character, these are some creepy, selfish values that they are teaching their children. Narcissist shouldn’t own dogs.

Wow Nancy…..judgemental much??

There is something very wrong when honest, generous folks legally adopting a stray only to be trashed and vilified online by folks like you. Unless you have intimate knowledge of the complete FACTS surrounding this mess (which is doubtful and hey, why worry about facts when ASSumtions and nasty characterizations as so much more fun to sling about), you are blowing hot air.

I especially like that you seemed to be relishing the idea of these folks’ identity being made public so cretins like you can picket their home, make aspersions about their child raising skills and in general, act like a lynch mob…….pathetic and ohh, so dangerous.

And Geminisappho……I have to agree with your comments in above but especially about Congalton…..talk about whipping folks up into a frenzy (case in point……folks like Nancy)….ridiculous and self serving. When he had a caller named Ellen call into his show from DAS as she was walking dogs, she stated that although this particular situation is unfortunate, last year alone 1600(!) dogs made their way through the shelter doors……it would be fabulous if this unfortunate event would somehow galvanize the community to start taking serious responsibility for our shelter and work to make it better, with higher placment and less chance of these types of mixups occurring. But of course, it’s much more fun to get online, “rail against the machine”, pound our chests and make a lot of noise with feigned outrage while also bashing and libeling innocent people then actually do something concrete……

the cat

“honest, generous folks”

Sorry. Honest, generous folks would return the dog to its owner.

Nancy, how do you know that Annie was as you state “well loved and loved working as a ranch dog”? Anyway, you also allege that Annie is “miserable but making the best of it” (how would you know this?), have you researched Annie’s history to see if she has a “Vet” record, have you contacted Annie’s “Vet” to see if she was “well taken care of”, Furthermore, maybe Annie’s local “Vet” could weigh in on this situation and “inform” all of us how well taken care of Annie was? Again, hopefully this new family will not return Annie to the situation she ran away from, if they do “they will regret it for the rest of their lives”, I haven’t read one article written by those whom “demand Annie’s return” that have anything but the previous owners best interest “at heart”, the welfare of this most beautiful animal “Annie” must be the only thing “that matters”……………