Name of Annie’s new owner released by mistake

August 24, 2010

Photo by Amy Joseph

The San Luis Obispo County Counsel’s office accidentally released the name Tuesday of the woman who recently adopted Annie, the dog who continues to be at the center of a highly-charged custody battle.

Kitty Crockett of Atascadero filed a request with county officials under the California Public Records Act to learn the name of the people who adopted the Australian shepherd from county animal services in July. The original owner, Chuck Hoage, has been trying to get the dog back since she went missing in June.

The people who currently have Annie are said to be on vacation through September 1. County supervisor Adam Hill has said repeatedly he plans to meet with the family upon their return in hopes of returning the dog to Hoage.

Crockett obtained the 15-page document from the County Counsel’s office Tuesday during a noontime rally on Hoage’s behalf outside the county government center. Copies of the document were made available to several people at the rally, including Hoage and KVEC talk show host Dave Congalton.

Under terms of the Public Records Act, specific names and other information can be redacted at the discretion of county officials. The document in question has several black lines through it, but sources tell CalCoastNews that the last page clearly lists the woman’s name, home address, and phone number. Her name is also listed elsewhere in the document.

The document was apparently vetted by Assistant County Counsel Rita Neal, who signed the cover letter to the Crocketts that accompanied the release.

On his radio show Tuesday night, Congalton told his listeners that “the county had inadvertently released  the information” without going into details. Congalton declined further comment later when contacted by CalCoastNews other than to say he had “no intention of going public with the information.”

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I think KVEC needs to take action here and put a stop to Dave Congalton. It’s one thing to take jurnalism to a new low but I think Dave has crossed the line. Shame on you Dave! Your supposed to be neutral as a servent of the airways but I have seen nothing of this. I hope these people do take legal action. They did nothing wrong. But people like you and over zealous people that have nothing better to do but poke your nose in other peoples business is an embaressment to the San Luis Obispo community.

Hey Dave. I have followed this issue and other issues over the months and this is just one example. You are in the center of this whole issue by fueling it not only on your talk show but on this website. You don’t see anybody else on talk shows or KSBY carrying on about this issue do you? But I come to Cal Coast and here you are. Do you understand the harm that you and your helpers have done? Instead of getting heffy with me, how about stepping back and take a look at the big picture. Maybe, just maybe you might just understand where I am coming from.

MAD HATTER is off the mark in a big way. Thanks to Congalton, Cal Coast news and anyone else who has the fortitude and integrity to provide a voice to wrong doing wherever it may exist.

MAD HATTER suggests that publicizing this issue is “poking your nose” where it doesnt belong. MadHatter probably applies this twisted logic to all the other issues of public interest, like Edge-Wilcox, Hedges, Gearhart, Guth, the list is massive.

Get a clue MAD HATTER…. if things like this are not made public then how can changes be made to better our community. Pull your head out of ………the sand.

As for the issue at hand.

Despite some of his own errors, considering the length of time (7 years) the original owner had with the dog vs the length of time (1 month) that the dog was in possession of somone else it is abundantly evident that the original owner has been done an great injustice.

The lions share of blame here falls on the shoulders of the Animal Control Dept, which I believe is overseen by the Sheriff. The Animal Control Dept was absolutely inept concerning this issue.

“MAD HATTER suggests that publicizing this issue is “poking your nose” where it doesnt belong. MadHatter probably applies this twisted logic to all the other issues of public interest, like Edge-Wilcox, Hedges, Gearhart, Guth, the list is massive.”

Point taken but I will remind you these people did absolutly nothing wrong. If something happens to them, I will be back on this site to remind you of this.

MAD HATTER writes “but I will remind you these people did absolutly nothing wrong ”

So I guess it boils down to the definition of WRONG. Let me share a few definitions with you MAD HATTER

1. incorrect: not correct; not in conformity with fact or truth;

2. contrary to conscience or morality or law; such as “cheating is wrong”; “it is wrong to lie”

3. improper: not appropriate for a purpose or occasion;

4. based on or acting or judging in error; “it is wrong to think that way”

5. that which is contrary to the principles of justice or law;

6. treat unjustly; do wrong to

Ultimately I guess the concept of “wrong is in the mind of the beholder.

Had I aquired a pet in the manner that these people did and I came to learn of the facts as described, including the fact that the previous owner had bonded with the dog for seven years, I could not in good conscience, keep the dog. It would be comforting to me to turn the dog over to his rightful owner knowing that I was doing the “right” thing.

If these people continue their selfish ways and should they endure some public humiliation …. so be it.

In deciding wether to Annie, maybe they should have contemplated the commandment …. Do onto others as you would have them do onto you

I have been in both situations. Once, as a kid, our little Scotty was scared by some viscous dogs while we were visiting friends in a very rural area. We looked for him for two days and figured he was killed by some wild animal. A year later, while visiting these friends again we saw him walking around with his new owner. The dog recognized us right away, and this guy gave him to us without a moments thought and would not accept any reward (a year later!)

I found a dog running loose once, and we posted notices, notified the pound and put an ad in the paper. A month later we saw a missing picture and notice at the pet store and located his former owner, who only had the dog for a couple of months prior to him jumping out the car window after a cat. We gave him back without a moments thought, even though we had bonded with him.

Animals are property, and you don’t acquire property wrongfully. Dogs bond with people, some of the very few animals that do (ever wonder why dogs are they only animals to look you in the eye)? While Annie may have found a new friend, she lost her father. She should be returned, and the new “owner” needs to do the right thing, and there really is only ONE right thing to do.

So, because you have judged that they are being selfish you have also decided their punishment should be public humiliation. And you have never made a selfish decision or done anything wrong in your life? And if you did you should have been ridiculed and publicly humiliated?

Judge not lest ye be judged yourself.

And, Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, is the Golden Rule. It is not included in the Ten Commandements.

Nothing is going to happen to the people who selfishly refuse to return Annie that hasn’t already happened. They are the most hated people in the county not counting certain government officials. Do you really believe that animal lovers would harm a human when they can’t even harm an animal (?) get real.

TRose, excellent post, my above post was of course directed at Mad Hatter.

You’re correct, the county screwed up by releasing the information. They also screwed up originally by adopting out the dog to the wrong people.

The county doubly screwed up by not saying “We made an honest mistake. We are coming to your house to pick up the dog and we’re bringing a refund check for the fees that you paid. We are sorry for our mistake and will be happy to assist you to adopt another dog BUT YOU’RE RETURNING THIS ONE…PERIOD!”

But no. The county sits on their hands and does nothing. Adam Hill offers to buy them a replacement dog. County counsel’s office rambles on without a clue. By the way, county counsel’s only client is the Board of Supervisors, if that tells you anything.

Next we have you organizing a Return Annie rally for whatever reason… make all of the Chuck well wishers feel better, I guess. Trying to shame shameless people to do what’s right.

Rather than righting a wrong, you’re simply enabling this same type of selfish boorish behavior when this happens again. And with this county, you can bet it will.

My point is, this is just another display of this county’s feckless weak leadership….or absolute lack of leadership. Our leaders trying to be all things to all people and as a result, they wind up being nothing to anybody. Meanwhile all of the “question authority” people parading around in front of the camera. Great. Kumbaya to all!

One of our supervisors is forever saying ” Sometimes government just needs to make the tough decisions” Well, we’re all still out here waiting.

Homerun, bulwark…

Lots of screw ups in this story and to me it looks like the original owner is not going to get the dog back. Ironic that it has become a political platform.

“Our leaders trying to be all things to all people and as a result, they wind up being nothing to anybody.” This line is especially relevant…

I really like how your comment matches your username! well played sir well played.

Wow Dave you’re a real jam. You put a whole community in a tizzy over some issue that could have not been such an “issue”. Why didn’t you use your so called public clout and radio for some good and have these two people meet in private? You call yourself an animal lover yet you have made the situation for Annie much worse, you truly have. You are a large problem with the issue at hand. You say you have done nothing wrong yet you encourage all this public outrage for these people. If you had made a decent attempt to keep this private It would have been handled by now. You have made a large mistake, own up to it instead of backpedaling like you did on your show. It seems you’re very defensive on your posts here? Why, if you did nothing wrong? You have a little guilt? If not, try to muster some up. Whether you look in the mirror and call yourself different from the so called dog-nappers is your lack of

personal incite.

“Since when is a radio talk show host supposed to be neutral???? LOL” ……. Real professional Dave, keep up the good work!

and just to add: If the name was leaked by the Tribune then you are involved in the leak and are a participant in the leak whether directly or otherwise. It is stated only 3 people had their names Kitty Crockett , Mr. Hoage & Mr Dave Congleton himself. So do you are a conspirator. You incited this mess now own up to the leak. I know you are in denial about your involvement so we will not hold our breaths.

To GeminiSappho, thank you! So well said!

Looks like I lit a fire under your A#%* Dave. Hey I got an idea here. How about I start a facebook page to have you removed from KVEC and post your name and address information?

Wouldn’t like it, would you. The point is, leave these people alone. I for one am sick of reading this crap on a daily basis. We had fun with the Ian stuff and other stuff that is posted here on a daily basis. Who needs Weekly World when I can come to Cal Coast. I will call you out the day he wins. I like to have fun just like everyone else on here but this issue has gone way overboard. If there was no radio, the trib would have never even printed on this. But because of the power of the media, here these people are in the lamlight having to worry what will happen next. You still don’t get it Dave. Now how about giving me a really good explaination on why to keep dragging this issue on?

Where is you Freedom of Speech rant… Don’t read this article if you don’t want to be informed with this issue.. Some of us care and it’s OK if you don’t. Just don’t condenm those that do. I can’t see where anyone has don’t anything wrong except the County for the numerous mistakes.

Where is Annie staying while the family is on vacation? I hope she is with them and not just shoved into some kennel.

They have been on a pretty long extended vacation. I guess according to MH I am poking my nose in someone’s business, but if you are going to adopt a dog, don’t follow that with a long vacation. No bonding is going on with this dog while they are away. These people DO NOT have Annie’s best interest in their hearts and that is very sad. People like this should not own animals. I think they are on some kind of power trip and the lesson they are teaching the child that is involved is absolutely horrific.

MH – I suppose calling 911 if you hear your neighbor being beat would also be sticking your nose in something you shouldn’t?

Bottom line is Animal Services were in possession of a dog that has now become stolen property, stolen property that was bought. Like someone posted somewhere, you cannot have access to stolen property until 90 days are up and all avenue’s have been exhausted to find the owner.

Chuck will get Annie back, it might take awhile because these people see fit to keep her out of selfishness, but he will get her back.

Correction on stolen property, I meant found property.

California law regulates what you can do when you find lost property in the state. Section 2080 of the Civil Code provides that any person who finds and takes charge of a lost item acts as “a depositary for the owner.” If the true owner is known, the finder must notify him/her/it within a reasonable time and “make restitution without compensation, except a reasonable charge for saving and taking care of the property.” Id. § 2080. If the true owner is not known and the item is worth more than $100, then the finder has a duty to turn it over to the local police department within a reasonable time. Id. § 2080.1. The owner then has 90 days to claim the property. Id. § 2080.2. If the true owner fails to do so and the property is worth more than $250, then the police publish a notice, and 7 days after that ownership of the property vests in the person who found it, with certain exceptions. Id. § 2080.3.

Chuck, under California law has the legal right to claim his property. End of story.

San Luis Obispo County…….Get ready to pay out big on the lawsuit that’s coming your way. If anything happens to any of these people or their home, you are now on the hook.

If anything happens to these people it is through their own wrong thinking not the County’s fault at all. There is no way the word would not eventually come out. They would have to take Annie to the vet, someone there could talk, walk her down the street, to the park, etc. You by suggesting the owners have legal grounds against the county are creating much more of a problem than the people advocating for her return. Animal lovers (with the possible exception of PETA extremists) are gentle and kind. There is no reason for Annie to be kept from her true and rightful owner. Just give her back and it will be all over.

taxpayer is actually correct. Given enough time the name will come to the public attention but it will alway’s fall back to the county. While public records are a reality it would be interesting to read an appellate finding where the disclosure of the party in this particular case was negligent!

The problem is that we never know what one single person out of a 1000 might do.

I believe that we should identify the surrounding neighborhood and post signs. Lets start there and see what happens next. Maybe Annie will go home.

Translation: We are now on the hook if we live in the county because our tax dollars will pay for that screw up if there is money to be had in a lawsuit.

Maybe all the flame fanners should put up the collection plates again because the truth is had this not gotten so carried away in the first place this probably would not have happened. I don’t understand why the petition was filed in the first place. Counter-productive to the cause in my opinion. Negative actions and feelings only produce negative results.

Captors”??? What is wrong with you people?! Seriously……this individual LEGALLY adopted this dog who sat down there unclamined for over a week and was already past her 72 hr hold before euthanasia. No doubt if this dog was hit by a car or euthanized by DAS on schedule and her body sitting at the bottom of a trashcan waiting for cremation, you’d be venting your vitriol to some hapless driver or to DAS. This dog who most likely would not have been at the pound if the previous owner would have done even just one of the following:

1) Written on a phone number on her collar with a Sharpie pen (easy and free)

2) Bought a tag with her contact info (can be bought and made in about 5 mins at any pet shop in SLO)

3) Bought a microchip (all of $20 bucks at DAS)

4) Had her legally registered with County Tags (cheaper if she was a spayed dog which apparently she isn’t)

5) Had her adequately restrained in vehicle – esp since she is described as a “working” dog – conceivably, she would then be that much more valuable and thus, should have been more protected in case of being startled and frightened as unexpected events happen all the time on ranches.

I just don’t get how so many of you folks give this previous owner such a pass on his gross negligence on so many levels to adequately identify and protect his dog but then vilify the new owner every chance you get. I saw one of you make the following reference in capital letters on another thread: Dogs are people too! Really? So if we follow that ridiculous statement to a logical conculsion then Mr. Hogue would additionally guilty of “Child” Endangerment don’t you think?

And I wonder how David and Kitty Crockett of Atascadero would feel if their personal information was obtained and disseminated on the Web by strangers who have nothing more invested in this situation then to stir up more trouble?

All this misguided and misdirected anger and passion continues to be fed and maintained by Conglaton and his ilk…..hopefully no harm will come to the new owner but if it does shame on you all for promoting and sustaining this vigilante attitude. No good can come of it that’s for sure.


I know and have known several people who love their animals that let them go where they are happiest. Oddly enough it is in the back of their owners pickup truck. Even if it is sitting in the driveway, on the property not running with the owners not in it. It’s kind of a working dog thing, feel free to research it BTW. There was no negligence of any kind. Annie was happy and where she wanted to be, it would be more like abusive to tie a working dog in the back of the truck while it was not running or being operated. You don’t know what you are talking about.

Oh, stop it, Shirley! No one buys that any owner has committed any gross negligence or abuse because they haven’t done 100% of everything possible! And, again, you spread lies about the vehicle and other imaginative exaggerations. The only misguided anger is your own story telling and projecting.

I’m personally awaiting the captor’s return before making any further judgment calls, but Annie needs to go home to Chuck at that point.

It’s refreshing to see an intelligent reaction to this nonsense. Even the animal shelter hotline advises callers how important it is to visit the shelter and not rely on the general descriptions provided over the phone. Their website has photos for review as well. The circumstances are unfortunate in so many respects. The original owner was indeed negligent, and the good samaritan adoptee is both victimized and accused of immoral behavior. If the dog had been put to sleep after 72 hours would the County have been liable…..? Absolutely not, because ultimately it was the fault, i.e. negligence, of the original owner which would have been the cause of that result. You can only convince yourself otherwise by ignoring reality. So how is the situation changed when the dog’s life was saved through adoption by its current owner? This is simply a matter of emotional rant overriding fact and reason. If the new owner chooses to return the dog, fine. If they don’t, that’s fine as well. If everyone is so fired up about the lives of dogs, why are any dogs being euthanized today? If the original owner really loved his dog, he should be thankful it’s still alive and wish it a long life……If you’re among the emotionally crazed seeking to force the dog’s return…..why not put that energy towards something more positive which might benefit the many people who are truly in need, ….the hungry, the homeless, and the destitute. Nothing like whipping up a little emotion to really put things out of perspective.

I think that people tend to side with the original owner because even if he made some mistakes with his dog by not getting her microchipped, etc. at worst that is simple negligence. What the new owners are doing is willful. They know full well that the dog’s original owner has been found, that he was with this dog for seven years, that he is a widower and this was his only companion, and that he is heartbroken over his loss, and yet they willfully have decided that they do not care and they will not give the dog back.

I know for myself, I am much more forgiving of mistakes than of willfully harmful behavior. They know that they are breaking a man’s heart and they choose to do so anyway. To me that is worse than negligence.

Please, someone post her name, address and phone number. You can bet the pressure will be put on her much better than our thankless county employees have done.

It is not the first time the County has done this. In a Child Welfare Services hearing where the father had been the victim of physical abuse at the hands of the mother, and the mother had an extensive criminal record. The County not only listed his home address, but his phone number and work information, on documents given to the mother. It is pretty much how SLO County operates. Unethical, inept and calloused- with egregious disregard of the law, when their mistakes are brought to their attention.

The “new owner” has been just as wronged as Mr. Hoage has. If the law protected her privacy and someone gave her identity when they were supposed to protect it she has been equally violated at the hands of the county in my opinion.

Whether this was a true accident or an “on purpose accident” by someone who thought they’d show her because she wasn’t doing the right thing in their eyes it’s still bad. Two wrongs never make a right and it is always better to fight a clean, fair fight. Even if you think plenty of people knew or not, now people do and things could get U-G-L-I-E-R. No bueno. At least we know it isn’t just Animal Services screwing things up with the county.

“The San Luis Obispo County Counsel’s office accidentally released the name Tuesday of the woman who recently adopted Annie”

LMAO, Can’t stop LOL, and what would Freud say?

I didn’t make it to the rally today; I had to work and didn’t want my kids down there without me. Name the next rally and the neighborhood, make it on a weekend and I’ll be there with the kids and their signs. I hear that the destination it is in Arroyo Grande.

Enough people have this information as to be certain that the captors name will reach the general public. I’m told that Annie’s captor is in her early to mid 50’s so I doubt the story about the heart broken children or child comes into play here. This woman knew that she had adopted another person’s dog 2 day’s after taking Annie home. While it might not be a good idea to name her or her address I think that posting signs in her neighborhood would be appropriate. Sign’s that say “Return Annie to Chuck” and “Send Annie Home” for starters. Where is Annie right now? Is she with the captor on a road trip or in a kennel?

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