Woman claims rescue center won't return her dogs; shelter stands its ground

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A dog owner's delight at seeing her two missing Labrador retrievers pop up on a dog rescue website has turned to anger as she claims the rescue center won't let her have them back.

Stephanie Olson took to Facebook to plead for the return of her dogs Mack and Murphy, after they appeared on the website of Fargo-based 4 Luv of Dog Rescue one month after going missing, under the names "Indy" and "Grayson."

Olson, who lives in Wilkin County, Minnesota, says she has proved that the dogs are hers, but was initially told that they weren't. And was then told they had already been adopted by other families.

"I have begged 4 Luv of dog staff to tell me where they are, asked to see them again, when they were adopted...I receive no response to those questions," she says on a Facebook post that has been shared more than 1,700 times.

"They need to come home, our 3 year old asks for them every day. We have cried and prayed for their return...and now they are so close to us."

After the dogs went missing, Olson – who lives 50-60 miles away from Fargo – says she contacted local animal shelters, law enforcement and had placed them on a Minnesota lost dogs database as they tried to track them down.

'Two sides to every story'

But according to the Fargo Forum, 4 Luv of Dog Rescue is standing its ground in the dispute, saying it didn't know the dogs were missing when it received them from a pound in Moorhead, and that one of the dogs has since been adopted.

Volunteer SueAnn Horner told the newspaper the decision to adopt a dog out is made by the rescue's board, and that the rescue can sometimes refuse to return a dog if they consider it in the dog's best interests.

WDAY reports the rescue center has cast doubt on the Olsons' search for the dogs, telling the station: "They are fabricating how hard they searched for these dogs because these places in their region had no contact with two missing dogs. We verified that."

But WDAY confirmed that Otter Tail County Human Society did receive a call three weeks ago from the Olsons about two missing labradors.

On its Facebook page, 4 Luv of Dog Rescue made the following comment: "If 4 Luv of Dog Rescue has a dog in their care, it is because the owner did not claim the dog from a pound or they signed over ownership of the dog to the rescue. If you hear something different, then part of the story is not being told."

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