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Piper’s Saga Moves to the Courtroom

Aug 6,2014, Penny Sanderbeck, director of Central Ohio Sheltie Rescue, Inc, was served with papers in the battle to recover Ch. Legacies Pipe Dream (Piper).

In the matter of a Complaint for Replevin and Conversion action in the Franklin County Municipal Court, in Columbus Ohio, against COSR Case Number 2014-CVF-024571, Attorney Lloyd Cohen, attorney for Veronica Covatch, issued the following Press Release:

Judge Orders that Piper May Be Brought Home

Not only as attorney for the plaintiff but also as a person, I support rescues. I have helped and supported several rescues. I know many people who devote much of their time and resources to canine, feline and equine rescues. In general, rescues fulfill a noble purpose. Our action against COSR is not criticism of any other rescue and not a comment on any other situation except Piper’s.

To those who have commented, I want to explain that legal action is not a popularity contest. It is an application of local or applicable law to a particular situation and Animal Law is only a part of the general business, bankruptcy, tax and estate planning practice at the Cohen Law Offices of Columbus, Ohio. Even though Piper has been detained for awhile, as the second lawyer on the scene I’ve only been working on this matter about 30 days. In that time, court action was commenced but so far court pleadings have never claimed that the rescue did anything wrong except that it failed to let Piper immediately come home.

A judge must have agreed that Piper does not need a rescue because based on the filed complaint for replevin and supporting motion, an order for immediate possession was granted. Among other things, the court ordered that: (1) The rescue is not to conceal or harm Piper; (2) COSR may be inspected and Piper brought home; and (3), If Piper is not found the rescue must produce her within five days. By the time you read this we expect that pursuant to this order, officers of the court should have already completed an inspection of the COSR headquarters (Director Penny Sanderbeck’s home). In time, we will make the results of this event public. However, we hope that the only further thing of interest regarding this event will be news about Piper being found. Meanwhile, you can find out more about Animal Law Disputes and Mediation Services at http://lloydcohen.com/animal-law-services/

The Original press release announcing this lawsuit can be seen here: When A Rescue Goes Wrong

Lloyd D. Cohen, www.LloydCohen.com

Cohen Law Offices, 824 South High Street, Columbus, Ohio 43206
Attorney for Plaintiffs (Piper’s owners) Veronica Wagner Covatch and Michelle Wilson

Written by

Edrie Blackwelder has owned, loved and bred Samoyeds beginning in 1970. She is also active in Rescue of dogs (both purebred and mixed breeds), cats, horses, birds and wildlife. She ardently fights for the protection of both animals and the rights of those who own them. Her passion also includes protecting the health of the planet we share with all creatures. She is active in disaster preparedness through CERT program, ARES and the Large Animal Evacuation team in her home area. You can follow her writing on Dailykos here. http://www.dailykos.com/blog/edrie/
  • Joyce B August 6, 2014 at 6:26 PM

    I hope this is the end and that Piper is reunited with Veronica by this weekend. It has been too long and it was a travesty that has polarized breeders and rescue across the country. However, its also starting a conversation so that we can figure out how we can do better in the future.

  • Melanie Williams August 7, 2014 at 3:56 AM

    Finally Pipers story goes nationwide.

  • Carolyn Oddo August 7, 2014 at 6:47 AM

    I don’t understand why the rescue wouldn’t return the dog. Piper was obviously not neglected or abused and had caring owners who wanted her back. I have hunch that COSR had a hidden agenda and I hope it all comes out and that Piper is indeed returned.

  • B Boyd August 7, 2014 at 8:57 AM

    I believe this to be all about someone’s need to be “IN CONTROL”. I doubt Penny Sanderbeck ever thought Piper’s owners would go to this extent to get her dog returned. In her apparent need to prove she was in control, this situation has harmed many repectful people offering rescue help to many animals in need. I hope Piper is soon returned home and Penny Sanderbeck learns a valuable lesson on respect – respect for the property of others.

  • Cindy Davis August 7, 2014 at 9:10 AM

    As the President of a nonprofit Humane Society, I thank your Honor for ordering Piper to be located and returned to her owner immediately. No reputable humane society would have knowingly done such a thing to the animal, let alone the owner. Thank You sir for using your position in such a positive light.. As for COSR, I hope your operation is thoroughly inspected including adoption records and the exact location of each dog you “supposedly” adopted.

    • kayla
      kayla August 7, 2014 at 9:39 AM

      Hi Cindy,
      Thank you for all your efforts as President of a nonprofit Humane Society. We know it’s tough, often sad or unrewarding work, but the successes are so sweet. And, the service is invaluable to all any lovers of any species. We agree with your comments and hope, as you do, that Piper will now be returned to her home. From our side, we are saddened that what could have been a fantastic story was turned into catastrophe and all those resources that could have been used on deserving at-risk dogs were wasted. We would also like to see a full accounting of all the dogs that have passed through COSRs hands. Thank your for writing, and thank you for being an important voice in the Best In Show Daily community.

    • Edrie Blackwelder
      edrie blackwelder August 7, 2014 at 9:45 AM

      Thank you for your support, Cindy, and thank you for what your organization does. It is our hope that from this situation, all rescues, breeders/owners will come together to ensure this doesn’t happen again.

      The work of rescue is so critical to the dogs truly in need. The work selflessly done by those IN rescue should not be soiled by the actions of one rogue situation.

      I look forward to seeing Rescue and Breeders and Owners working closely together in the future as so many have done in the past!

      • Cheryl Anderson - AKC Judge #4183 August 29, 2014 at 7:47 PM

        Just FYI — In Oregon, in July, a new State law went into effect. No person or organization outside of State licensed ones are allowed to perform rescue operations. We had a lot of “rescue-for-profit” outfits running around out here lying and effectively stealing dogs for resale. Unfortunately, this new law also bans Club breed rescue operations. The local Pacific Northwest Shetland Sheepdog Club disbanded its rescue operation as a result, and sent its separately maintained rescue funds to the national ASSA Rescue. It is a shame that to end the bad stuff the good guys had to fall too. Now only municipalities and the Oregon Humane Society (which is associated, here in Oregon, with HSUS) are the only ones who can “profit” from rescues. Also note that in Oregon, Animal Control Officers are now Sheriffs and that Humane Society employees also are all given FULL police powers and can enter your premises with no warrant based on nothing more than a suspicion. 1984 has arrived.

  • Nancy Eckert August 7, 2014 at 10:33 AM

    Many hundreds and even thousands of people are watching this story play out not only nationwide but worldwide! All are waiting for a good and joyous result. What a happy day it will be for all of us when the little bi-black Shetland Sheepdog known as “Piper” is released and is able to go home to her loving owners! Sheltie prayers for Piper’s homecoming.

  • Skeptic August 7, 2014 at 11:25 AM

    This story is false. COSR has not been ordered to return the dog to anyone

    I have to wonder… what is the real agenda of the person writing these articles and why are they so desperate to destroy COSR

    • kayla
      kayla August 8, 2014 at 7:24 AM

      Please provide facts that support your statements.

  • Vickie Kuhlmann August 7, 2014 at 12:01 PM

    As a state/regional rescue coordinator for the national breed club (as well as an AKC exhibitor and legal assistant), I hope that Piper makes it home fully intact. Many rescues have a spay/neuter as the first order of business for incoming dogs … this may be part of the reason for COSR’s reluctance in returning the dog. I truly hope this is *not* the case given how quickly COSR was contacted about Piper’s ownership and return.

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