Animal shelter refuses to give emotional support dog to family

A South Carolina family had spent five eerie weeks searching for their lost dog. Their sweet daughter Legacy means so much to their whole family.

When they finally realized she had been found and taken to the local animal shelter, they were relieved to know that she was safe and sound. But the shelter was unwilling to hand it over to them.


Legacy is a beautiful Bully breed that has been a beloved member of the Autumn family for five years. Not only that, but she also acts as an emotional support animal for her mother and offers comfort when she is suffering from anxiety or having a panic attack.

Legacy went missing in May and her family spent five long weeks doing everything they could to find her. But they only recently learned that someone had spotted her, called animal control, and that she had been brought to the Chester County Animal Shelter. Thank goodness she was fine and off the street.

Her family figured they could just stop by the shelter, show them some photos of Legacy, and they could finally take her home. Only, that is not at all what happened. The shelter refused to release Legacy to his family.


“They said no. They said the photos are not proof. I had the AKFC papers and they said they wouldn’t say his color, his age,” Legacy’s mother Autumn shared.

Upon arrival, the shelter manager said a dog they picked up belonged to the county after five days and Autumn was unable to provide proper proof of ownership. The director remained adamant about the documentation needed as sufficient proof and said the law states that rrabies vaccination receipts, a vet bill, or a vet receipt with his name were required for Legacy to be released.

But luckily Legacy’s family was able to provide a bill of sale from their breeder, and the shelter said that counted as the proof they needed.


To make the situation even more stressful, another family was interested in adopting Legacy. Luckily, they saw Autumn’s pleading post on Facebook and brought her back to the shelter so she could be reunited with her rightful and loving owners.

Now Autumn has officially made arrangements to get her pup back, and they’ll finally be back together.

What do you think of the shelter’s requirement for proof of ownership? Should photos be enough to get a dog released, or should all animal shelters require veterinary receipts and vaccination certificates?

Featured photo: Facebook