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Dog Dispute In West Wichita Leads To Neighbor Feud

By: Jared Cerullo Email
By: Jared Cerullo Email

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A dog dispute is brewing in West Wichita after a family finds a stray in the neighborhood four months ago. The problem is, nobody claimed the dog until yesterday. Now the family that found the pooch says they should be able to keep it.

The Boller family near Kellogg Street and Maize Road in Wichita found the pit bull puppy back in May. When they found it, the puppy was malnourished and appeared to have been abused, but they did their best in trying to find its rightful owner. Fast forward to yesterday. Now the story is much different.

"This dog adopted us. We did not adopt him," said Aleta Boller. "We did not need another dog, let alone a pit bull."

The Boller family named the puppy Buck when they found it back on May 29. After two weeks of knocking on neighbors' doors and posting signs on every utility pole, they pulled all the signs down and decided to keep Buck as part of their own family.

"For two weeks we kept the dog separated," Boller explained. "We looked for his home and even took him to the vet to see if he had a microchip. We couldn't locate an owner, so after two weeks we took it to the vet again and had his shots and got him neutered. He became part of our family."

Monday, however -- four months later -- a man just five doors down saw Buck and took him, saying Buck belonged to him. The Bollers have spent close to $1,000 taking care of the puppy since then, which includes food and vet bills to vaccinate and neuter him. They even took him to obedience school.

"We have not hidden him," Boller said. "He's been around the neighborhood. We've loved him. He's part of our family. He's our dog."

The police became involved and ordered the dog returned to the man who claimed it was his, but Boller says he had no pictures or proof that the dog was even his.

"The only proof he had was a vet bill in March that he had taken a dog to the vet to get shots," Boller said. "It didn't have much of a description on the paperwork at all and didn't have a name on the paperwork."

Boller called police, expecting them to allow her to keep Buck, but that wasn't the case.

"We decided the dog should stay with the man who said it was his originally," said Sgt. Jesse Boomer. "There is no dog chip. There's no registration. I'm not saying the dog is his, but I am saying based on the information we had, we couldn't give it back to the people who found it in May."

Boomer said his only other option would be to have animal control keep the dog until the two parties settle the matter in court.

Clearly, Boller is not happy.

"I feel like we've had it for four months. We had it longer than he's had it," Boller said. "We tried and tried to find its owner and now we've got all this money and love in him. Who's the owner? We're the owner."

We attempted to contact the resident who claims the dog was his in the first place, but could not get an answer at the door.


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