Pennsylvania Animal Shelter Refuses To Return Family's Dog

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

A Pennsylvania family was devastated when their adopted Beagle Flash escaped from their yard last Tuesday after a contractor left a door ajar.

Flash is microchipped, but when he was found he was returned to Main Line Animal Rescue, the organization where the family adopted him from two years ago.

Main Line refuses to return their dog, claiming the family violated their adoption contract “by not calling us when you discovered he was gone.”

“MLAR will retain ownership of the dog and find him another home,” MLAR owner Bill Smith wrote in an email to the family Friday.

The family called Plymouth Township police and the ASPCA when Flash ran away. Both took the family's name and number.

“They then asked if he had been chipped, and I said yes,” Alexis Krekstein told NBC10. “And they said ‘Then don’t worry, you’ll get a call back if they find your dog.’”

“I thought I was doing the smartest thing by getting the information out around here where he would be found,” Alex Krekstein said. “It never occurred to me the chip would show up Main Line Animal Rescue and they would not return the dog back to me.”

Rob Krekstein said the email was “infuriating,” claiming the shelter suggested they “were not taking care of the dog” and “didn’t want the dog.”

“It’s a member of my family,” he said. “You treat a dog like a child. For two years he’s been here.”

The Krestein’s own another Beagle named Rosco.

“I don’t consider my dog a contract,” Rob Krekstein said tearfully. “I didn’t rent the dog. The dog lives in my home. It’s a member of my family.”

Smith told NBC10 that the family was aware of the contract they signed with the shelter, two years ago.

The website for the shelter says, “MLAR celebrates the special bond between companion animals and the people who love them - through rescue, adoption, education and community outreach.”

Flash does not appear to be listed on the site’s adoption page.

Sources:, NBC10, CSN Philly