Elderly man’s beloved lost dog won’t be returned by new adoptive family

Daniels keeps asking for the dog on days his dementia is bad.
Daniels keeps asking for the dog on days his dementia is bad. (Photo courtesy Facebook/Michelle Daniels)

An elderly Toronto, Ont. man who suffers from dementia lost his dog in late August and keeps calling for him. Though his dog Kimbo was found, he was adopted by a new family who refuses to give him back.

Kimbo, a 10-year-old miniature pinscher box mix, was a constant companion to 80-year-old Karl Daniels, when Kimbo went missing in late August. Kimbo slipped out through the screen door when Daniel’s support worker arrived at the house.

After Kimbo went missing, Daniel’s daughter with whom he lives started a search for the missing dog. In the meantime, he was found and dropped off at the Toronto Humane Society. They looked for a microchip or ID but the dog had none.

They then took the dog’s picture and posted it on the lost section of their website. Though the daughter did call THS, she couldn’t get through and ended up filing the report with Toronto Animal Services. She also posted the dog’s picture on the Helping Lost Pets website.

Weeks later, she was contacted by Helping Lost Pets about a dog that matched Kimbo’s description, and on the same day she went to THS only to find out that he had been adopted two days before.

Though THS made efforts to get Kimbo back, his new family had grown too attached to him to let him go and they had no authority to take the dog back.

There is nothing we can do. We have no legal right to the dog. We did reach out to the new owner and explain the situation, but they chose not to return the dog and legally, we can’t even release the name of the new owner,” THS Executive Director Barbara Steinhoff said.

THS had observed the “stray hold period” as required under the city’s municipal bylaw and after that period they had the right to put Kimbo up for adoption under the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

Unfortunately that leaves the Daniels family, which includes Daniel’s daughter and two grandsons, without their beloved pet. Daniels even keeps asking for the dog on days his dementia is bad. According to his daughter, “He doesn’t realize that the dog’s not here… doesn’t remember all of it.”

People who heard about the story started a petition to ask Kimbo’s new family to return him to Daniels, and his daughter is considering taking legal action.

Update: Kimbo has been reunited with Daniels and his family, after a kind stranger paid Kimbo's adoptive family $5,000 to give him back to Daniels.
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