Animal Shelter Refuses To Release Emotional Support Dog To Her Family

A family from South Carolina had spent five worrisome weeks looking for their lost dog. Their sweet girl Legacy means so much to their entire family.  

When they finally figured out that she had been found and taken to the local animal shelter, they were relieved to know she was safe and sound. But the shelter wasn’t willing to release her to them. 


Legacy is a beautiful Bully breed who has been a beloved member of Autumn’s family for five years. Not only that, but she also serves the role of an emotional support animal for her mom and offers comfort when she’s experiencing anxiety or is 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 became aware that someone had spotted her, called animal control, and that she had been brought to the Chester County Animal Shelter. Thank goodness she was okay and off the streets. 

Her family assumed that they would be able to simply stop by the shelter, show them some photos of Legacy, and they would finally be able to take her home. Only, that’s not what happened at all. The shelter refused to release Legacy to her family.


“They said no. They said pictures is not proof. I had the AKFC papers and they said it didn’t say her color, her age,” shared Autumn, Legacy’s mom.

When they arrived, the shelter director said that a dog that’s been picked up by them belonged to the county after five days and that Autumn was unable to provide proper proof of ownership. The director remained adamant about what documentation was needed as sufficient proof and said that the law states that receipts of rabies vaccination, a vet bill, or a vet receipt with her name were required in order 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 it counted as the proof they required.


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 that she could be reunited with her rightful, loving owners. 

Now, Autumn has officially made arrangements to pick up her pup, and they will finally be back together at last. 

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 vaccine certifications?

Featured Photo: Facebook 

Man’s About To Return Shelter Dog When He Reads Previous Owner’s Note
Woman Is Warning Pet Owners Of ‘Silent Killer’ Lurking In Homes That Killed Her Dog
Google’s Top 10 Most-Searched Dog Breeds In The U.S.
Missing Woman’s Dog Helps Lead Investigators To Her Killer
Afternoon Nap Leads To 3 Day Hospital Stay After Dog Defecates In Grandma’s Mouth
Hero Dog Sniffs Out Injured Baby Girl Abandoned In Family’s Shed