We typically think of Humane Societies as kind-hearted organizations dedicated to helping animals in the community. Most of the time this is true. Sadly, a Murfreesboro, Tennessee woman says this isn't the the case.
The woman, Freda Haddix, is the proud owner of a purebred longhaired Chihuahua named Buddy. Buddy is a young dog and, like all dogs, he needs to be housetrained. But due to her age and a disability, house training a dog requires more mobility than Haddix can handle right now. Because of this, she and her husband contacted the Humane Alliance of Rutherford in hopes of finding someone who could housetrain Buddy for them.
When she called, Haddix apparently spoke with Penny Jekot, the director of the center. Instead of putting Haddix in contact with a dog trainer, Jekot reportedly offered to help train the dog herself. A few days later, according to Fox17, Jekot came to the house. Jekot and Haddix agreed that Jekot would take Buddy for a few weeks and return him once he was house broken.
Before she left, Jekot handed Haddix and her husband a blank sheet of paper to sign. Haddix figured the papers were just formalizing their agreement to let Jekot take Buddy for a few weeks, but they asked just in case.
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"She [Jekot] said there's no need I'm in a hurry,” Haddix recalls. “She said sign your name and I've got to go."
Haddix called multiple times in the following weeks asking how Buddy’s training was going.
"The last time I called, she said with a nasty horrible attitude, don't call back here no more,” Haddix said. “You're not getting your dog back."
Fox 17 staffer Stacy Case contacted Jekot and asked to meet her in person for an interview. Jekot declined. The two did speak on the phone, though. Here’s Jekot’s version of what happened.
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"I gave her one sheet of paper that was a blank sheet of paper,” she said. “I said I want you to give me the dog, sign the form that says you give me the dog. She and her husband both signed the paper, dated it. They both signed it and that's the end of it. There's no form that says I give you my dog."
Notice Jekot now refers to Buddy as her dog.
The reporter pressed Jekot and said Haddix insists she never turned over ownership of Buddy. Jekot didn’t offer any meaningful response. When asked what she plans to do with Buddy, Jekot allegedly snapped back saying “That’s none of your business, woman.”
Hadix called police to her house and told them what had happened. Police told her to file a civil complaint against Jekot and the Humane Society and law enforcement would investigate the issue.