This week there was an incident at the City of San Bernardino shelter that went viral on the internet. A woman, Maria Sanchez, happened to be at the City shelter and witnessed a man crying at a kennel. Seems the dog in the kennel was owned by the man. The man, Dave Thomas, had been arrested on a felony charge and his dog was taken to the shelter. Thomas didn't have the money to reclaim the dog, so in walks a "Savior" in the form of Maria Sanchez.
To begin with, Dave gave an incorrect name of Christopher to the shelter. Sanchez was looking for a Christopher when she was trying to find Dave. Christopher/Dave told Sanchez that he had been arrested for traffic tickets. The police confirmed that he was arrested on a felony charge. He was on the run and had a warrant for being at large. Superior Court records in San Bernardino show a pattern of disrespect for the law with traffic tickets galore. At the same time, Christopher/Dave had a prior conviction for drugs and also for theft of recycled goods, a violation of San Bernardino City ordinances.
In California, you have to prove ownership at the shelters to reclaim your pet. Christopher/Dave didn't have a license, according to Superior Court records. It was reported that he was homeless. California also has a licensing requirement and that requires a residence. Question would be, how is Christopher/Dave to meet this resident requirement if he is homeless?
Sanchez raised considerable money via the internet to help Christopher/Dave get his dog out of the shelter. Without proper ID, I'm not sure how Sanchez intended this to work since Christopher/Dave could not presented proper paperwork to reclaim his dog. Still the money rolled in. Now Sanchez is back peddling and offering to refund those donations. She has reimbursed herself, of course, from these donations. But now, the tables have turned on her and Christopher/Dave wants "his dog's" money from those donations.
According to a facebook page for Maria Sanchez, Dave has called a television station and told them that Maria is keeping the donations meant for him. Sanchez told him she would give him the money if he paid off his outstanding tickets. Whoa, wait a minute. No one donated money to pay this man's tickets off, they were donating for the dog. Sanchez said she would pay bills, etc. for him. Again, no one donated money to pay this man's bills. Donations were sent to get the dog out of the shelter, maybe buy dog food for the dog, collars, etc. Is there an accounting on these donations, do we know just how much actually was donated? And what about donations that continue to come in, who accounts for those?
David Vincent Thomas should have been better "vetted" by Maria Sanchez. Had she investigated his background, would she have been so quick to return his dog to him? No home, many outstanding cases that probably will mean jail time for him, no money. Does this sound like an appropriate "home" for any pet? Yet, those who subscribe to No Kill would not hesitate to put pets in this position. What will happen to Buzz Lightfoot is anyone's guess at this point. Will anyone be there the next time Buzz goes into a shelter?