In the summer of 2013, a couple brought a beautiful young German Shepherd to my store as I was closing. He was so very big, so very sweet, so very full of life. I took him home and posted him as a lost dog hoping to find a family desperately scrambling for him. That hope was soon crushed. His owner came for him 2 days later after dozens of people told him where he was rather than them searching for him. His master came to claim Rocky without much excitement. We had no choice but take his phone number, a copy of his license and give sweet Rocky back. I immediately knew something wasn’t quite right. It didn’t sit well with me so I went to
go visit the big puppy called Rocky.
He was not a pet, he was not a family member, but a junkyard dog.
Rocky was in a small yard that was covered with plaster, old tires and car parts, with no food or water in sight. Over the next 3 weeks, our team took turns watching him and taking notes of when he was stuck outside in the blazing heat, rain, and at night with no lights. We watched him cry for someone to give him attention, bark out of fear of being alone, pant heavily because the heat was getting the best of him. One late afternoon while driving by, I couldn’t take it anymore and I walked up to the gate that was not locked and slightly ajar and let Rocky out. He celebrated by jumping all over me, licking me, running around me and finally, walked over and into my car. Without much thought, I drove back home. Knowing how wrong this was yet knowing how right it was, I went to talk to his “owners” about what had happened and to come clean.
They already knew. They caught me on camera taking Rocky away and wanted him returned immediately or else they were pressing charges. What was I to do? How can I get around this? How can I go to jail for doing the right thing? Well, I could have. I gave Rocky back but not before speaking to the owners brother who had Rocky’s best interest in mind. We talked about the option of buying Rocky away from his “masters”. He said they would consider giving him up for $1300. I did not argue. I did not care how I was going to make that money back. There was no option. Rocky was going to be safe if it meant me losing every last dollar. We took to Facebook sending out a plea for Rocky. “Free Rocky! Free Rocky!” was plastered all over social media. We raised the money! We were going to get Rocky out of his miserable lonely life! The first time Rocky and I saw each other after the night I stole him, I don’t know who was more excited!
-Kristin Livan, Vice President