On February 13, 2014, Raffiki, a brown female Rhodesian Ridgeback was thought to be stolen from her family's 6 foot high fenced backyard in Panorama City, CA. Raffiki, a Livernose female, is 7 months old, and was wearing a collar, with no tags. She was scheduled to be spayed and microchipped this month.
It was later determined that Raffiki was found wandering the neighborhood, and was turned into the West Valley Shelter. Meanwhile, her family was checking the East Valley shelter, the shelter that serves their neighborhood. On February 20th, after the legal stray hold, Raffiki was up for adoption from the shelter. She was pulled by Karma Rescue and transferred to the NKLA Adoption Center.
On February 21st, around 4 pm, a volunteer helping to look for Raffiki found her listed on the Karma Rescue's website. Karma Rescue was immediately contacted by Raffiki's family and several volunteers helping in the search. Karma Rescue would not contact the family, but instead, communicated through the volunteers. Their official stance was that Raffiki already had an adoption lined up for the next day, and that the original owners should fill out an adoption application online, which they did.
Nonetheless, Raffiki was adopted out by Karma Rescue at the NKLA Adoption Center, despite the fact that Karma knew her original owners were looking for her and trying to get her back.
It is alleged that Karma Rescue deemed Raffiki's original owners unfit to care for her based on the fact that she was in the shelter for 7 days without being reclaimed, she was found with no tags, and that she was not spayed or microchipped. To address those concerns: again, her family was checking East Valley shelter (the shelter that serves their area), and Raffiki had an appointment already scheduled for spay and microchipping before she got lost. The appointment was for 3 days after she went missing.
The Rescue finally contacted Raffiki's original owners by phone on February 22, stating Rafikki had already been adopted into a good home and that they would try to contact the new family to see if something could be done and would get back to them later. Despite repeated phone calls by the family to Karma, they didn't make contact again until February 25. Karma's attorney contacted the family, stating the new adopter does not want to give Raffiki back.
This would have been a great opportunity to reach out directly to learn more about the situation BEFORE passing judgement, and offer to educate loving dog owners on the importance of spay/neutering and microchipping, and guidance to ensure a long happy life together, Karma Rescue allegedly judged and knowingly withheld a dog from it's family. They had the opportunity to introduce them to the world of rescue in a wonderful, positive way. They had the chance to save two dogs--Raffiki and another dog who could've been adopted by this new family--but they chose, instead, to use their donors' resources to keep a dog away from the only family she's known and loved.
Why? We don't know for sure. We can only let these facts speak for themselves.
Karma Rescue and the NKLA Adoption Center are the only ones who know the identity of the new adopter. They can make a plea on our behalf urging them to return Raffiki to the family that loves her. We are certain the adoptive family will take moral action and return the dog back to her family knowing how loved and well cared for she is.
Please urge Karma Rescue and NKLA to support us and help bring Raffiki home. If anyone knows where Raffiki is, please email Lexi at firstname.lastname@example.org. Her family (and Raffiki's best friend, a 4-year-old boy) are inconsolable.
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