An American Kennel Club-registered dog has been turned loose in the wild after the Frankfort Humane Society mistook her for a coyote. Copper is a female Shiba Inu.
Lori Goodlett told The State-Journal her pet of 11 years disappeared from her fenced back yard on July 3. It was after she put up posters that a police officer recognized Copper as the dog he had taken to the shelter. A shelter worker later called police and said it had to be picked up because coyotes weren't allowed there.
The department turned the animal loose behind a home improvement store after consulting with a wildlife expert who said coyotes were nuisance animals and should be returned to the wild or killed.
Humane Society board chairman John Forbes said he backs the shelter's decision.
"If our manager assessed the animal to be a coyote, then it is against the law for it to be at the shelter. We rely on the people who work there," Forbes said.
Of course the dog had no collar, and you can bet it had no chip. Nor (apparently) had the owners taken a picture of the dog to all the local shelters and pounds. Nor does the dog look very much like a Shiba Inu. That said, the fact that the animal quietly followed the officer when put on a leash might suggest it was a family owned dog and not a coyote! Here's a hint for shelter workers and self-proclaimed "wildlife experts": If a police officer or a suburbanite can catch the animal and load it into a crate with their bare hands, it's NOT a coyote!