Mary Schiefel only wanted what was best for her 2-year-old American Staffordshire Terrier/Husky mix named Abel. According to Mary, he was a very dedicated, loyal dog, a “mama’s boy.” And now Mary has to go to court to get her dog back.
Mary and Abel had a great life together. He was her best friend, her hiking buddy, her car trip buddy. To her, he was never just a dog, but her baby. Sadly, all of that ended when Mary fell into unexpected financial difficulty. She had to sell her home, and she and Abel were homeless for several months. It was then that Mary had to make the hardest decision of her life, to re-home Abel.
The first home Mary gave him to, the people were starving him to get him to hunt birds and squirrels. When she demanded him back, he was 25 pounds thinner than when she brought him there. Once Abel was back with Mary, she saw a commercial for a rescue called UPAWS and took Abel to them on February 26, 2018.
On March 5, 2018, Mary got a call from UPAWS telling her they were putting Abel down for biting an 18-year-old girl, resulting in her having stitches. Mary was quite alarmed and disturbed by this news as she had filled out a complete profile on Abel and voiced her concerns on him adjusting to their environment after having been so attached to her and after having been starved by the home he had stayed in before coming to them.
UPAWS responded that Abel was not the same dog she brought in to them. Something happened from the time he left Mary to the time he came in contact with the 18-year-old girl to make him snap. Unfortunately. Abel cannot speak for himself and tell exactly what happened. Until then, he had never bitten anyone.
The facts are, UPAWS had him for five days; during that time they had him neutered, assessed and sent him out for adoption. On UPAWS adoption paperwork, they state to allow two weeks in the home for pets to adjust. The dog was in a strange environment with people he never met and most likely felt vulnerable and the need to defend himself.
Abel was scheduled to be euthanized on March 14, 2018. UPAWS advised Mary she could see him on March 13, 2018 the day before he was to be put down; then they told Mary she was not allowed to see him. Mary then sent multiple emails to Amber Wetton, the president of UPAWS Board of Directors and was granted permission to see Abel on March 14, 2018. The shelter manager told Mary the euthanasia was on hold, so she could see him. She wasn’t allowed to touch him or hold him, and he wasn’t even allowed out of his kennel.
When she called the shelter again on March 15, 2018 she was told the vet did not feel comfortable with her being present while Abel was euthanized, so they could not divulge what day that would be. Mary contacted an attorney and filed a “Stay and Claim and Delivery” also known as a replevin which is basically a lawsuit that enables a person to get back personal property taken from them wrongfully or unlawfully. Thirty minutes after Mary served UPAWS with the court paperwork on March 20, 2018, she was pulled over and served with a No Trespass.
No one will tell Mary if Abel is alive or dead.
Mary is currently working with attorney Celeste Dunn out of the metro Detroit area. On Tuesday, April 3, 2018 they filed papers to court order UPAWS to return Abel to Mary or allow one of two other rescues to take him in. Two rescues, D.A.W.G , a sanctuary in the Detroit, Michigan area and Make a Difference Dog Rescue are both willing and capable of taking care of Abel and will not euthanize him. But UPAWS is saying no.
The court trial date is yet to be determined.
Mary knows the judge will most likely not give Abel back to her but at this point, all she wants is to know he is alive and allowed to live the full life he deserves.
To read and learn more about Abel’s case, visit the Facebook page .
There is also a gofundme set up to help with court costs.
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Rescuer pens touching note to person who surrendered neglected 15-year-old dog. Read the story here.