One man in Dania Beach, Florida, is fighting to get his dog back after the pup was adopted out while the man was hospitalized. Timothy Sweat was assured by Broward Sherrif’s Office and Broward County Animal Care that his Yorkie-poo, Bear, would be safe while he recovered.
Sweat, his attorney, and 7 News Miami are all working toward Bear’s return, though the public is fuming over the chain of events that led to the dog’s adoption. Needless to say, the pup’s owner is devastated.
Our hearts are breaking for Timothy and his beloved canine companion. Many people adopted animals during the pandemic and can understand the profound impact they have on their owner’s physical and mental health.
Dogs are more than pets–they are members of the family! For Timothy, Bear was there for him during life’s most difficult moments. The two hadn’t been apart in three years.
The tragedy began on July 19 when Timothy and his Yorkie-poo were out for a walk. A young man approached them before attempting to kidnap the dog.
Timothy was able to stop him but was severely injured in the process. We’re thankful to hear that he and Bear made it back home safely, but the severity of Timothy’s injuries became clearer the following morning.
After calling 911, Timothy was asked several questions about his injury and situation, including whether he was feeling suicidal. Because he honestly answered ‘yes,’ he was handcuffed before being taken to the hospital. This is when authorities assured him that Bear would be taken care of at Broward County Animal Care.
When 7 News Miami reached out to the shelter, directed Emily Wood responded, “The minimum that we have to hold that animal waiting for you to reclaim them is five days.” However, she explains that the shelter was working with limited information.
Bear’s shelter records include the note, “Per Dania BSO, the owner was hospitalized,” and that his owner “will pick up once he gets out of hospital in 3 days.”
Timothy was not out of the hospital in 3 days. He was admitted for emergency brain surgery and spent over a week in intensive care. By the time he was discharged from the hospital on August 2, someone else had adopted the dog.
The animal shelter explains that they can do nothing if the woman who adopted Bear refuses to give him back. Unfortunately, that’s been her answer so far. Timothy, his attorney, the shelter, and 7 News have all reached out to the woman in hopes of changing her mind.