Woman: Animal Control held my dog hostage for $200 - FOX 35 News Orlando

Woman: Animal Control held my dog hostage for $200

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PHOENIX -

A woman's stolen Great Dane turned up at Maricopa County Animal Control -- but instead of being able to pick up her dog -- the woman had to pay more than $200 to get her dog back from them.

Then, after we started asking questions about the bill, animal control showed up at her house, along with two police officers.

Animal control says they went to Reena Bradford's house only to notify her she needed to get her dog vaccinated and micro chipped. But she says she was victimized not once but twice.

Reena Bradford's Great Dane Dulce was stolen out of her car at a PetSmart parking lot over the weekend. But Monday, she found the dog at Maricopa County Animal Care and Control.

"Somebody may have seen her on FOX 10 Saturday night because you ran the story, and dumped her, and she ended up at an animal shelter in Mesa."

But before she could leave with Dulce, animal control gave her a bill for $231.

"It was for intake fees, release fees, vaccinations fees, rabies shots, tags, license renewals, everything she could think of."

A $25 microchip fee, a $34 microchip fee, a $45 intake fee -- for her stolen dog? Bradford could adopt a stray dog from animal control for as little as $51.

"These are just fees assessed for us through county law," explained Audie Greybear, Animal Care & Control.

Bradford paid the bill because she just wanted to be done with it. But her groomer confirmed to FOX 10, Dulce's rabies vaccine was up to date.

Bradford said animal control employees wouldn't listen, so she left with the dog before they could microchip Dulce and give Dulce the rabies shot.

"We are going to let her know again, we're going to give her a call and see if she can bring the dog back to the shelter so we can safely input the microchip and give the dog a rabies vaccination," said Greybear.

But instead, Bradford says animal control and two police officers showed up to her home around 5 p.m. Monday, with the dog catching van, saying she had an unlicensed, unvaccinated dog.

After talking with Bradford's veterinarian, she says they confirmed the dog has current rabies shots -- and they told her they were sorry for the inconvenience and left.

"It was unbelievable the way I was treated after my dog was stolen."

Animal control says lost or stolen animals with the proper paperwork are returned for free.

"If you have a current rabies vaccination current license and pet microchip it's a free ride home," said Greybear.

Bradford says she won't be taking Dulce back for her microchip anytime soon. She feels nickel and dimed.

Animal control says they might refund the amount she was charged for the rabies shot, if she can provide paperwork on it -- but they won't refund the microchip, even though Dulce didn't get one.

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