After seven long months of legal wrangling, egos, and judicial reprimands, Miles Thomas has been reunited with his dog, Baron.  It took a mediated session last month by Magistrate Judge Martin C. Carlson Thomas to finally end the legal stalemate. Officially, Miles Thomas and the Humane Society of Harrisburg Area Inc. have agreed to a foster care arrangement under which Thomas has custody of Baron, while Humane Society officials periodically monitor Baron. 

I knew about the settlement last month when it was announced, but decided not to write anything about it until it actually took place.  If you remember, they’ve been down this road before.  

Miles Thomas now has a comfortable one-bedroom apartment, but without Baron, it wasn’t a home.  It’s home now.  Baron bounces around very happy to be back with the man who loves him so much.  Miles Thomas even has backup arrangements made for Baron’s care should his health fail.  But the return of Baron has most likely improved Miles Thomas’ health and quality of life.  

The Humane Society of Harrisburg will retain ownership of Baron (as arranged in their foster care agreement) and will provide basic needs, including food and veterinary attention.  Executive Director Amy Kaunas made this statement: 

“While Baron is in Mr. Thomas’ care, HSHA will continue to work with him to ensure he has the resources necessary to care for Baron in the appropriate fashion and to be a successful pet parent.”

So why the change in tune?

Was it the seven months of wasted money and legal fiascos?  Or is it because you now need the money to expand your facility.

That’s right, the HSHA has launched a $2.8 million capital campaign. The shelter will expand by 6,000 square feet. This includes a new animal care center, intake counseling centers, a veterinary suite and more office space.  It also will allow for more community services and education. This includes low cost veterinary services, low-cost spay and neuter options, a pet food bank and our behavioral resources.

“So many people have pets that they just look to abandon or give up because they’re frustrated,” Kaunas said. “Keeping pets in the homes, keeping pets with their people. Those are the programs and services that are really important and are going to keep animals off the streets and out of the shelter.”

Keeping pets with their people? Those are the programs and services that are really important? That should have been the been the mindset all along over an old man who loves his dog.  The last best friend he had on earth.  Not this sad, seven-month debacle. I don’t get it.  I just don’t get it.

Maybe Amy Kaunas grew up a bit and realized that there are more important things in life than always being right and having your way.  Maybe.

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