One woman's recent experience with her adopted dog has her asking a controversial question.
Does "Finders Keepers" apply to live animals?
"whosedogisitanyway" is the apt Reddit username of a woman embroiled in some serious canine drama.
When a run-down dog came across her radar, she stepped up and did all the right things. She informed the authorities, monitored the dog's safety, checked for a microchip and provided a comfortable home.
The problems didn't arise until things moved beyond basic needs. Just when she became attached to her new pet, this Redditor was struck by an uncomfortable reality—the old owner.
At first, Dog Mama 2.0 was clear about where she stood. But she would go on to feel some inner conflict about the episode.
Eventually, the guilt sent her to the "Am I the A**hole (AITA)" subReddit, where she was able to spill the whole story and ask where she landed on the morality spectrum.
The anecdote begins with the first appearance of the dog in this woman's life. Things were not looking good at first.
But one thing lead to another.
"About 7 months ago a friend found a dog near her house. I took her in and called animal control. They said to bring her in to look for a microchip. She was underweight with dirty fur."
"AC couldn't find a microchip so they said I could hold onto her for a week and they would list her on their website and if nobody claimed her I could adopt her. So that's exactly what happened."
"My dog now has shiny fur and is very healthy. She is polite and walks well on a leash. She does lots of tricks. I have depression and anxiety and she's my support animal. She's honestly the light of my life."
Fully acclimated to the dog owning life, she hit new corners of social media never accessible until now.
But a discovery was made.
"Last month I joined a Facebook group for the same unusual pure breed that my dog is. I posted a picture of her in the group."
"A woman was tagged and a few hours later she DMs me. She said my dog was her dog and she was so thankful I found her and wanted to arrange to come get her. She offered to pay me for taking good care of her."
"I thought she was trying to scam me since she lived across the country but when I looked into it I found her IG with a lot of dog pictures and videos."
"My dog has very unique markings so it was unmistakably the same dog as the one in her pictures. My dog is a show champion and had a lot of training to do obedience, agility and a few others I've never heard of. She has a lot of fancy titles too. My dog was clearly well cared for, well trained, and well loved."
The origin story of the dog's departure from her original home was heart-wrenching.
"She said her house caught fire last year and she lost everything, including my dog, who ran away. Nobody knows how she traveled so far or what happened between when she got lost and when my friend found her. She never stopped looking for my dog."
"She even had a video of my dog as a super cute puppy getting a microchip. No idea why the shelter and my vet couldn't find it but my dog had one at some point."
But despite the sad story, this adopter dug her heels in.
The result was a barrage of ill will.
"Here's the part where I might be the a**hole. I told the woman I appreciated the great job she did with my dog for the first few years of her life (she's 5) and I was sorry to hear about her circumstances but I couldn't give up my beloved girl."
"She's my support animal so I'm not even sure I could live without her. I offered to send her pictures regularly but she turned really nasty. I got tons of hateful messages from people I don't even know."
"I had panic attacks whenever I got notifications because her friends acted like it's my fault. I didn't choose for this special dog to change my life so much anymore than she chose for my dog to get lost. I ultimately blocked her because she wouldn't leave me alone."
"Since she was listed with the shelter for the hold period and no microchip was found, I've adopted her and she's mine."
Though for all that conviction, the narrator still carried a sliver of doubt in her heart of hearts.
"I am legally in the right but am I morally wrong? I know she loves my dog and wants her back but I can't picture a life without her. Not one where I'm happy anyway. If I could clone my dog and give this chick one I would."
She did not receive much support on the Reddit thread.
Many comments began with the biting "YTA" verdict, an acronym meaning "You're the A**hole."
"Though it's incredibly difficult... YTA. It's not 'your dog' you just thought it was. Put yourself in her shoes. Give the dog back." -- IPretendIMatter
"YTA and you know it. She had and loved that dog for years while you've only had the dog 7 months." -- pinkprozak
"Something terrible happened to her and from what you've described she loved that dog and treated her well, until circumstances outside her control took the dog away from her. You're being incredibly selfish by keeping her from her family."
"How would you feel if this happened to you? If you had a dog you loved for five years and someone refused to give her back, especially after you'd lost everything in a fire? Please give her the dog back." -- Alternative_Answer
"YTA, selfish, and cruel. And you can bet she has papers on that dog. Update us when she takes your a** to court. I'd like a happy ending." -- PowerOfCreation
"YTA YTA YTA. This woman has probably been distraught over this and she finally sees a picture of her beloved dog on a breed website she probably thought shes never see again, she was probably ecstatic in that moment only for you to turn round and tell her you 'appreciated the great job she did with my dog for the first few years of her life.' "
"Like WTF 5 years is half the life of some dog breeds and she did everything right, she loved and trained this dog and got it microchipped despite it not being detected." -- laurenhunt_88
"How many times are you going to say 'my dog, my dog.' She's not your dog and you know that now. Lying to yourself is only going to make you feel worse. Be a decent human being."
"If you're SO badly off that you'll die without this dog, go to a shelter and adopt a genuinely homeless dog who's in desperate need of love and attention and go get some medical help." -- simply_adora_bell
Some comments took a more delicate tact, obviously hoping to encourage the dog's return home.
"While it's a great thing that you fostered her dog, you should do the morally correct thing and let her have it back." -- Mr_Evil_Dr_Porkchop
"You are clearly an ideal dog owner. That shelter has more than one amazing animal that will support you the way you need. By giving the dog back, you can save TWO lives — that woman's poor lost dog who ran and ran from a fire, and the pup excited for a home with you." -- SwiggyBloodlust
"YTA, sorry. It sounds like you really have looked after her really well over the past months...Can you really be happy to keep her from her family?" -- Zabkian
For the new owner, the opposition force has grown every step of the way. First, it was the original owner. Then, her several friends expressed their anger. Next, all these internet strangers joined the ranks.
Logic would say that this new dog owner's unwavering stance has eroded. But of course, there is no way to know what's happening off screen.
*If you enjoyed this article, you can read more like it by clicking on the AITA link below.*
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