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Letter: Effort to help dog proves costly

To the Editor:

I want to share my story about the Humane Society. In December 2008, I found a dog on the side of the road. I picked her up so she wouldn't be hit by a car or, worse yet, cause an accident.

I took her to the Goodhue police station. The officer told me that she would have to keep her outside until the next morning when the Humane Society opens.

I brought her home instead.

I decided to keep her and read the newspaper to see if anyone was missing a dog. I also asked around town to see if anyone had heard anything.

A couple of weeks went by and I brought her to the Humane Society. I was told to pay a $50 surrender fee, which I cannot afford. Besides, this wasn't my dog, so why should I have to pay?

I brought her down to the Red Wing police station and they took her to the Humane Society.

The Humane Society called me about 30 minutes later and told me I still have to pay the surrender fee. I told her no, it's not my dog and I can't afford it. I hung up the phone. She called me back and told me that I had until noon the next day to pay it or I was going to get charged with animal abandonment. I asked her if I could just come back and pick up the dog.

The woman said, "Only if you have proof of ownership."

I did get charged with animal abandonment and was found guilty by Judge Thomas Bibus. I was put on probation for six months and was sentenced to a stay of adjudication for 15 days and had to pay $300-plus in fines and fees.

I think if the Humane Society spent all of its money on the animals, it could lower fees or even eliminate some. According to the NRA, the merger of HSUS with the Fund for Animals (one of the most radical anti-hunting groups in the world) gives the anti-hunting movement a combined annual budget of $96 million.

Melinda Whipple

Red Wing