Executive Director Julie Seal announced today she is releasing Cash the dog to the custody of King's Kastle animal care facility.
Seal's decision, made after a week of -- who wanted to adopt Cash -- in effect resolves the issue just in time, Seal said, for "the season of giving."
"In the season of giving, I long to turn my work back to finding homes for the dogs waiting for their second chance and to the cats who would love to have a fire to sit by during the holidays," Seal said in an "Open Letter to the Community," reprinted below.
Keane, contacted just after Seal's announcement at about 4:30 p.m. Monday, said he was thrilled at the news. He also took legal action to block any attempt to euthanize Cash -- even though Seal stated that Cash was not slated to be put down.
and just focusing on the idea that the dog, an 110-pound, 3-year-old male Mastiff/pitbull mix, will now have a chance at rehabiliation.
"I couldn't be happier," Keane said when he heard the news. "I don't care how this deal got done -- just that it got done."
He said he wasn't concerned about his role or whether he would be adopting Cash. He would just allow King's Kastle to work with the dog.
"I'll do whatever they (the shelter and King's Kastle) want," Keane said. "If they want me out of it, I'll be out of it."
Colleen Combs, proprietor of King's Kastle, said Seal called her today and Combs agreed to take "full custody of Cash" on a pro bono basis, Combs said.
Combs said the shelter would drop off Cash Tuesday, probably at the Windsor branch, but that after evaluation, Cash could be transferred to the Cloverdale facility where Combs' own dog pack lives at her private residence.
"If this can help the dog and help quell the controversy at the shelter, then I'm happy to do it," Combs said. "We'll take responsibility for Cash over the long term."
She said she would see in the initial evaluation if Cash were a candidate for rehabilitation, and, if so, how long Cash's rehabilitation might be expected to last.
"Since we will be doing this pro bono, if anyone in the community wants to contribute donations of food or money to Cash's long-term care and rehabilitation, it would be gratefully appreciated," Combs said. "It could take six months to a year."
Donations would be accepted at either the Windsor or Cloverdale outlet. For information, contact Combs at either location (Windsor's phone number is 707-838-2785).
Combs said Cash's case is not the first time she has stepped forward to rescue dogs in the community. Last year, King's Kastle took in 25 Golden Retrievers who were confiscated by police from a home in Cloverdale, she said.
"If we put Cash into a long-term rehabilitation program, we will take him in as a member of our pack," she said.
Following is the text of Julie Seal's announcement:
An open letter to Douglas Keane and the Community
"The Healdsburg Animal Shelter is dedicated to being a safe haven for animals in need. Like people, animals come with their own temperaments, needs and history. For me, as someone who is committed to serving the animals and a community I have come to love, not to proceed with an expressed interest in adoption is never a decision I take lightly, and quite frankly is sometimes heartbreaking from a personal perspective. Still, as a professional I must make hard decisions: I have the fiduciary responsibility to the city of Healdsburg and to the hundreds of donors to take into account the risk an individual dog may pose to other animals their owners and our community as a whole.
"The last few weeks of conflict about the adoption of Cash has drawn focus away from the animals under our care and has left the community questioning the merits and intent of the shelter. This is unacceptable to me. In the season of giving I long to turn my work back to finding homes for the dogs waiting for their second chance and to the cats who would love to have a fire to sit by during the holidays.
"Although I personally am very concerned about the stability of Cash, King’s Kastle is a highly respected organization and is noted for its commitment to rehabilitate the animals in its charge. I spoke with Colleen Combs, owner of King’s Kastle, this afternoon and Cash will be released to her care and moved to her facility for temperament evaluation and rehabilitation. It is the season of hope and magic; my genuine hope is that one day Cash and Doug are reunited in a safe and loving dog/adopter bond."