LORAIN, Ohio - The workers at Ohio Pet Placement are used to people coming in to surrender animals. But one such surrender Monday afternoon brought things to a halt inside the Lorain County shelter.
Three women came in to the shelter just before 1 p.m. Monday to drop off a dog they said was a stray. The only problem is they tied the dog to the cash register and simply took off. The dog, apparently upset over their leaving, refused to let the clerk behind the counter, Skyler Pankratz, leave or any customers to come in.
"He was a completely different dog," said Pankratz. "I ended up climbing through a window so I could go outside to make a call. He wouldn't let me around the counter, over top of it or anything. He wouldn't even take treats from me."
The call was to shelter director Crystal Luli, who contacted the Lorain County Sheriff's department.
"We had to lock the doors so that no one would walk in," said Luli. The dog warden eventually removed the animal from the shelter.
"Normally, we have a surrender fee. We do have paperwork they have to fill out with ownership, vet records, that sort of thing," Luli explained. "They claim it was a stray, but the way they were handling the dog on video leads me to believe it was their dog."
"At minimum they could be held accountable for abandoning this dog. I don't know what fate's going to hold for this dog because of the behaviors. We pretty much had no choice but to send it to the dog kennel because we can't put the staff and the volunteers at risk here."
The Lorain County Animal Shelter is closed on Mondays. Calls to the dog warden were not returned.