Puppy still jailed after possible bat exposure

Absurd, jailed puppy still being held from ‘possible’ exposure to a bat

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A family’s puppy is still “jailed” after possible exposure to a bat, which may or may not have been rabid. The puppy, named “Luna,” was taken from her owners back in June because a bat was discovered in the family’s home – at the time that the bat was discovered, Luna was in cage, in another portion of the home, behind a closed door.

In late August, Luna’s family announced that they had “difficult decisions” to make after a judge stated that the young puppy must continue her costly quarantine. This week, the rescued puppy’s owners released more facts about this absurd situation on the fundraiser which was created to help cover the ever-rising cost of boarding.

Luna’s family wrote:

The most shocking revelation that came to light that day concerned their policy. The policy of the Mecklenburg County Health Department is to impose the maximum sentence across the board. They do not evaluate reports case by case. They do not speak to eyewitnesses. (No wonder no one made an effort to contact me before Animal Control showed up at my door!) They do not examine pets they presume were exposed. They do not inspect homes they imagine are infested with rabies vector species. They can postulate that a bat colony resides in your home, but they do not have to prove it to lock away your dog or cat.


Bat in house + Unvaccinated animal = 6 months institutional quarantine

And a judge supported this policy, this treatment of citizens and their families. Fear trumped the law and common sense that day.

Luna’s family is on a quest for a second opinion and they have stated that they will head to Superior Court to find it.

A request for public support has been made:

If our story is horrifying, absurd, or unsettling to you; or if you think it’s just plain wrong, then I encourage you to share your displeasure with our local officials (contact list below). If you’re inspired to contact any officials, we’d be very grateful if you’d also demand that they #freeluna!

Click here to read the full update and access a lengthy list of people to contact on Luna’s behalf.

Original article about Luna’s situation here.

More news and updates at the National Animal News Facebook page.

Family adopts a 146-pound dog – check out his transformation at his new home!

16 special needs pets saved from euthanasia – read the story here.

19 replies
  1. maxiemom says:

    That’s INSANE!! We had a bat fly into our house once when I was in high school: they can fly in from outside, and its insane that they’d assume the bats simply live in someone’s home without proof.

    Why aren’t they checking to make certain there are no other bats in the home? Certainly they’re concerned for the PEOPLE there if this is so dangerous! If there were other bats, they would have been seen. There would have been evidence and they would know if they actually looked. Could this be a way to make money off of the IMPRISONMENT of someone’s pet?


  2. Patricia says:

    Could these people be any more stupid? My dog bit someone and was only in quarantine for 10 days. How long do they think it takes rabies to show up? Average 3 to 10 weeks. Rare and very rare longer sometimes 2 years. This small of a pup it would most def be quick. Give these people their baby back. I think pretty much you have shown it is strictly about the money at this point. No bite marks on the dog, locked in another room in the house and they are holding this dog hostage? They should be ashamed. I will definitely be sharing and contacting these idiots!!!

  3. ellen cottone says:

    And there you have it.
    the reason,
    just because.
    not based on law, not based on medicine.
    just because someone said so and know ones job title demands they help the situation . what a scam.

    why hasent a rep from the CDC stepped in? by law they have to be the first to be alerted of a rabies out break.
    they have to be contacted before any action to take an animal away from a family. they are the ones who decide who lives and dies. they have seen this enough to say with 10 days incubation no one got rabies from being bit from a healthy looking animal
    so whats really going on here?

  4. Tracy Whitcomb says:

    This is so stupid. I cannot believe that this poor baby has not gone home yet!!!! He wasn’t even in contact with the bat!!! Let this poor baby go home!!!

  5. Adrienne says:

    What type of Judge do we have in our country? This is insane and this family needs to go to a higher court and also get documentation from various veterinarians as to how an animal gets rabies. If an animal is in a kennel in another room where the dog is in,then tell me how this dog could be “infected” with rabies? There has to be some sort of bite and there is none. Dog + contact with bat = possible rabies.
    Did they test the bat. What a screwed up town to live in. Getting money from this family and not doing a dam thing for their dog.

  6. Barkley's Mom says:

    This is absurd, they are just bilking money out of these poor people! Meanwhile this poor puppy is caged and not getting the proper socialization or love that she needs to become a well adjusted grown dog! The Mecklenburg County Health Department should be ashamed of themselves holding this poor pup and her owners hostage like this!

  7. Stephen Phillips says:

    My letter to Mecklenburg officials:


    • County Commissioners Cotham, Fuller, Scarborough, Puckett, Leake, Dunlap, Clarke, Ridenhour, and James
    • County Manager Diorio
    • Assistant County Manager and Acting Health Director
    • José Peña, Epidemiologist: Mecklenburg County

    I have been following with keen interest and mounting dismay, the case of Mecklenburg County vs. Angela, Timothy, and Luna Munson.

    With all due respect, I find in unconscionable that specific, unique, individual circumstances are NOT taken into consideration in deference to a blanket policy of “worst case scenario, maximum penalty application”!?

    I reside in a meticulously restored 1900 Victorian home here in Minnesota that – in most summer-to-fall seasons – experiences at least one visiting bat: With a consistent forever-companion complement of ten (six canine, four feline) I have yet to experience ANY bite incidents… most often, carefully collecting these visitors (as the Munson’s did) and delivering them to the freedom of outdoors via my front porch – viewing them to be highly beneficial in our neighborhood as mosquito population control implementers.

    Sans any physical evidence of the receipt of bat-bite, and long past the universally accepted 10-day rabies quarantine period it would seem patently farcical to continue such unnecessary isolation and confinement, were it not for the fact that a barely eight-week-old puppy is being deprived of her most formative bonding and socialization experiences – something that can never be recovered, and which may very well impact her interactions with other companions and humans for life.

    Where is your sense of compassion, empathy, relevance… and what possible justification could you proffer, to sustain such an ill-advised course of action, other than pandering to overhyped sensationalism and baseless fear???

    My community is blessed with forward thinking citizens and a supportive policing authority who recognize the value of positive relationships with our companion animals, and have adopted ordinance modifications over the years that increasingly codify protections for these cherished family members.

    I can only implore you to recognize the fallacy of continuing this ludicrous and unnecessary course of action by truncating Luna’s sentence to “time served”, and releasing her to the embrace of her loving family!

    Set an example for other communities to emulate, and make the effort to mitigate the damage this absurd action has inflicting on your county’s reputation!


  8. Kim Wright says:

    Something don’t sound right here ???? heartless of these sick disturbed bastards just soaking u for money that dog looks to healthy to be locked up no signs of fuck all it would of showed some kind of sign of sickness by now WTF for stupidity let this dog go home there are other honest means to make money not by your bull shit disgusting heartless reasons my heart and thoughts goes to this family and the poor pup being confined omg !!!

  9. Nancy Raymond says:

    This dog is being held hostage for nothing more than greed. Luna belongs home w/her family – IF she had been exposed to rabies these idiots should have known by now – there is NO reason to keep her jailed like a criminal – Mecklenburg officials are proving themselves to be either incompetent, ignorant or just plain dumb.

  10. Sherry D Hadley says:

    The bat couldn’t get to the dog through the cage and after all these months, signs of rabies would have long been discovered. So, on what grounds are they holding this family’s pet? These people need to appeal this . Courts take forever to do things sadly, meanwhile this family and pet wait red tape bullshit.

  11. Cynthia Como says:

    I am at a loss for words at this asinine,cruel and unconstitutional imprisonment of Luna! This city needs sued and need to update their anicient delusional policy regarding POSSIBLE rabies exposure! This family is being railroaded. There are MANY animal law attorneys out there that would probably be so incredulous and outraged that they just might take on this case pro bono! As I said before they need to get the local news invovled as well as one of our national news show invovled such as Prime Time Justice,Inside Edition etc. And a petition needs to be started. This county should be exposed for the unreasonable jerks that are. I feel that there are many angles to be taken to get Luna returned home IMMEDIATELY! Since when does a cities outdated unreasonable policy trump the science of POSSIBLE rabies exsposure,and trump the knowledge of a veterinarian? Something very shady going on in this town and they need to be brought to their knees with embarrassment and a lawsuit. THIS IS ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Pam says:

    Are you kidding me??? This absolutely beyond comprehension. Get a life a real one and let this baby go home . Omg. What I really hate about the human race. Arrogance Get a ffff grip let this poor dog go home !!’

  13. ellen cottone says:

    they would give up the pup
    toot sweet when it dawns on them that the family will not be responsible for fees of incarceration.
    99% of cases of rabies the CDC had the owners quarantine under supervision at home 10 days not 1 person came down with rabies from a healthy animal and that was with case with a bite.
    if the dogs mother was up to date on shots than the pup was inoculated to everything from nursing .
    something is not right here. this is disease , the rules are not set up by a bunch of idiots in knuckleburge..
    send the dog home. your wasting his precious dog years in confinement.
    apologize, financially compensate the dog and his family for the unnecessary anguish of separation.
    set up a department to make sure this does not happen ever again.


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