NewsSarasota, Manatee County


Woman fights to get beloved dog back after she says abusive ex surrendered it

“They have just taken my animal and said, okay, she’s in better hands"
Posted at 10:18 AM, Aug 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-28 10:18:25-04

TAMPA, Fla. — A Texas woman said a domestic violence situation with an ex-boyfriend in Florida led to the loss of her beloved dog.

Ashley Taylor got her chocolate lab, Tuesday when the pup was eight weeks old.

She packed her bags in 2018 and moved to Florida with Tuesday to begin a relationship with a man.

“Silly me. I was like, 'oh here’s prince charming coming to sweep me off my feet'," Taylor said.

Taylor said the abuse with her ex-boyfriend began early in the relationship. She said she tried to leave by couch surfing, renting rooms on Craigslist, and even staying at a domestic abuse shelter, but when she was told she couldn't bring Tuesday she went back to her ex-boyfriend.

“When I went back to him it was the worst mistake of my life," Taylor said.

Taylor said she and her ex would get into arguments with calls ending to 911. She said her boyfriend owned the house and she was led off in handcuffs.

While Taylor was incarcerated her ex took Tuesday to the Manatee County Animal Shelter. She was listed as a stray since Taylor's ex was not the owner.

The standard policy consists of a five-day hold on an animal while the staff tries to locate its owner.

Hans Wohlgefahrt with the shelter said that's what they tried to do.

“We were able to trace the microchip back to Ms. Taylor, but her contact information that was attached to the microchip was old numbers in Texas. They were all out of date," Wohlgefahrt said.

According to the shelter's intake record, the same day Tuesday was taken in, a lab rescue said they would take her in after the standard five-day policy hold.

However, on Tuesdays' intake record it was noted not to disclose which lab rescue she would be given to.

The intake record is a public document with information that should be freely available.

Wohlgefahrt said the mention not to disclose the lab rescue was added after Taylor inquired about where Tuesday was taken and was told to file a public information request.

“It was obviously a difficult situation, but if we would have had someone reach out to us on behalf of Ms. Taylor," Wohlgefahrt said.

Taylor said she wasn't able to contact the shelter or lab rescue until April and by then it was too late. Contracts had been signed and Tuesday was now legally in the hands of a new family the lab rescue had placed her with.

A representative with the lab rescue declined an interview, however, released a statement that read:

"This was the case with a twelve-year-old Labrador named Tuesday that Manatee County Animal Services placed with us in February 2020. On March 13, 2020, Tuesday was adopted through our rigorous adoption process. Approximately two months later, Ms. Taylor contacted us to inform us that Tuesday had belonged to her prior to being surrendered to animal services. Unfortunately, by the time we were contacted by Ms. Taylor, we no longer had legal ownership of the dog. In an effort to assist with this difficult situation, we contacted Tuesday’s adoptive family to explain the circumstances and provided a letter and a video from Ms. Taylor. The adoptive family was given the option to return Tuesday to Ms. Taylor; however, they have declined. We certainly sympathize with Ms. Taylor, and had it been possible, we would have reunited her with her dog during the foster period. We hope that Ms. Taylor can find some comfort in knowing that Tuesday is in a loving home and no longer in danger of being euthanized at the shelter."

“They have just taken my animal and said, okay, she’s in better hands," Taylor said.

Taylor said she will not give up her fight and is now seeking legal action.