Update 10/8/09 – Baron Returns to Miles Thomas!

Update 10/5/09 – No Settlement Over Baron the Collie

A hearing was held on September 3rd regarding custody of Baron.   Both sides, Miles Thomas and his lawyer and the Humane Society of Harrisburg (HSS) and their council, appeared before Judge John E. Jones with paperwork, evidence, and witnesses.

However, the Judge was in no mood to listen.  He ordered the lawyers into a closed door session and when they were done, the Judge issued his orders.

You have 30 days to settle this out of court.

“I would feel very badly if we couldn’t resolve this,” said Jones, who refused to hear testimony and instead ordered lawyers for both sides into closed-door settlement talks.

“There is a very reasonable path to a reasonable agreement. … I am very hopeful that this conundrum can be worked out,” Jones said.

The message is clear.  This should never have gotten this far.  Let’s take a look at the Harrisburg Humane Society’s Mission Statement.

The mission of the Humane Society of Harrisburg Area, Inc. is to build a better community for pets and people through compassion, protection, education, and collaboration.

So this couldn’t be worked out before?  It had to take a federal lawsuit to force negotiations?  I am amazed.  I would think the HHS always had the autonomy to sit down and work with Mr. Thomas and his attorney.  Sounds like collaboration to me.  They also could have let him visit with Baron – that would have been a compassionate gesture.  Prior to the seizure, there was an informal arrangement between Miles Thomas and Thom Lewis who runs a collie rescue.  He was kept Baron on days Mr. Thomas was having difficulty.  Both were concerned about Baron’s welfare and protection before the HHS stepped in.

And how does this educate the public?  It doesn’t.

The HHS has shown the public it is nothing more than ego hiding behind cruel righteousness.   There is an anonymous donor out there that has offered financial support for Baron’s vet bills, food, housing and shared custody between Miles Thomas and Thom Lewis of Silver Spring Twp.   This arrangement is similar to one that was in place between Thomas and Lewis for more than a month before Baron was seized.

This anonymous donor has done more to educate the public in compassion, protection, and collaboration than the HHS has according to their own Mission Statement.   The HHS should be embarrassed.

They have 30 days.  Hopefully a final settlement will take place and Miles Thomas will be reunited with his best friend.  Good news is, during this time Mr. Thomas will be allowed to visit Baron.

There were no winners that day in court, but there were no losers either.

FYI:  for those of you who wish to see how the HHS is rated with other Animal Services/Charities in the area, click here.  They have a rating of Poor.

Fails to meet industry standards and performs well below most charities in its Cause.

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