Dog owner going to court to get dog back from rescue

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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.

Did you know that if you want to get updates from a Facebook page, you need to do more than “like” it? To get recent postings in your Facebook feed, you must also hover your mouse over the word “following” and then click “see first” from the drop-down menu. You may want to check back with your favorite pages on occasion because Facebook often changes your settings, no longer having your having your favorites among those to “see first.

Follow the National Pet Rescue on Facebook.

Rescuer pens touching note to person who surrendered neglected 15-year-old dog. Read the story here.




19 replies
  1. Sue says:

    What a sick, unfeeling society we are living in. I am so sorry that Mary and Abel have been put through so much. I wish them well, and pray for peace of mind and heart for both of them.

  2. Marni Montanez says:

    oh my gosh! how devastating. I can’t imagine what Abel is feeling and going through. Upaws doesn’t understand that this dog has been traumatized.

  3. Pamela Bolton says:

    UPAWS must be one sadistic bunch. To not allow the dogs original owner to see him is barbaric and UNHUMAN. God only knows how much I hate HUMANS. Give the dog back to her. If the dog bite someone, there has to be a reason. Did they even try to find out why? No. They would rather put him down and not be bothered. Wake up people. UPAWS is not animal friendly.

  4. JEANETTE says:

    some of these so called professionals are idiots. never push a strange dog who has been half starved. poor dog I feel bad for the lady who used to own him. why did he bite that 18 yr old? maybe she did something to scare him? we will never know.

  5. Barkley's Mom says:

    Poor Abel, what a raw deal this poor dog is getting, and what a run a round for Mary Schiefel. I have no idea why UPAWS is being so uncooperative but I fear that Abel is no longer living. I hope Mary is able to get to the bottom of this mess and I hope and pray Abel is still alive and able to, if he can’t go home with Mary, go to a rescue that will take good care of him.

  6. Red says:

    Please explain to me when there are options to saving an animals life…..WHY IN THE HELL DOES ANY organization, rescue, shelter get to put an animal down? THAT MAKES NO SENSE…… if there is a way to save an animals life……….FREAKING DO IT!!!! UPAWS needs to be audited, and maybe even closed…. this is not a reputable place if they prefer PTS an animal vs letting it be saved.

  7. Red says:

    Go on the UPAWS site and write something!! I just did. People saying that is a good organization need to know that they are NOT ALLOWING 2 organizations offering to help a dog take him….they are determined to PTS a woman’s dog named Abel.

  8. Kara Quick says:

    Where’s the compassion? What has happened to our society when organizations that are Suppose To Help You instead betray you? You know its so sad that places like these forgot the reason they opened for business? That reason is to help dog’s find homes, & to create a relationship, a special relationship between dog & owner. And your NOT GIVEN ANY TIME OR RESPECT TO SEE YOUR DOG IS DISGUSTING!!!!

  9. Mary Ann Clark says:

    This dog was abused and the rescue and that 18 year old woman need to be investigated immediately! Save this dog before they murder and erase the evidence!

  10. Les says:

    The reason they will not let her see the dog and filed a no trespass against her is that they have already euthanized him. They jumped the gun and euthanized the poor guy and are now trying to shirk their responsibility in the matter. They are afraid to tell her lest their “reputation” is damaged.

  11. Gens says:

    Upaws is wrong. Let this dog live, he has two other rescues that are MORE CAPABLE of taking on his responsibility..

  12. maxiemom says:

    I can’t help but wonder if they haven’t already killed Abel and are simply covering it up. They should have allowed him time to decompress after the trauma he received from the abusive home, and if this is a REAL RESCUE, they surely know that what happened with that 18 year old under the circumstances isn’t his fault, but THEIRS for allowing him to be adopted too damned early in the first place!

  13. Melissa Gurley says:

    They are dead wrong what kind of shelter or rescue is this I will spread the word they don’t care about animals I pray you get him back

  14. Nancy Raymond says:

    Abel is the real victim here, being tossed around like a piece of furniture – there is a lot of blame to go around, the human trash who starved him, this so called rescue UPAWS, where he was dumped into a strange environment, and the owner who thought she could just pass him around – Abel deserves a chance to get a safe loving home and no one seems to want to be responsible for him.


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