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Woman files police report in Humane Society dog dispute

A woman has filed a police report, claiming the Humane Society stole her 8-pound Shih Tzu.  The dog ended up in Humane Society care after it was hit by a car in September. The Humane Society told Cayman 27 the animal came to them in a neglected condition, and said a veterinarian recommended against returning the dog to its owner.

“Something shady went on, something illegal went on with my dog, and I want it investigated,” said pet owner Twyla Vargas.

She told Cayman 27 the Humane Society has had her five-year old Japanese Shih Tzu ‘Tati’ long enough.

“I think that they have taken my dog, and I think that I have given my dog to somebody,” she said.

Ms. Vargas told Cayman 27 ‘Tati’ had her paw run over by a car in her driveway back in September. The driver at the time said he’d take it to the vet, but never did. Roughly a week later, ‘Tati’ was taken to the Humane Society.

Ms. Vargas said she was allowed to visit ‘Tati’ at the shelter once before the excuses started.

“They told me that she was out getting again, exercise, I must call the next day, so the next day I call, when I called they said she wasn’t there,” said Ms. Vargas.

Frustrated, Ms. Vargas took the matter to police, filing a report.

“I think they took my dog and either one of two, sold her, or taken her and given her to some person,” said Ms. Vargas.

The Humane Society declined our request for an on camera interview, but confirmed ‘Tati’ is in a foster home. It also supplied these pictures of the animal, and medical records of the incident.

An initial assessment describes her as “In a neglected condition: very weak, matted and tangled coat, dirty. The hair was knotted over her eyes causing a corneal ulcer on the right eye. She was presented with a severe flea and tick infestation.”

Follow up-notes recommend a list of procedures totaling $1400.

“This dog should not be allowed to be returned to her owner, this case should be considered abuse,” concluded the two-page document.

Ms. Vargas said she will fight to get her dog back.

“If they can’t find my dog I want police action,” said Ms. Vargas.

“In situations like this we usually provide the animal with vet care and hold them until the owner can settle the bill. In this instance we thought that the person who hit the dog with his car was going to settle the bill but he never returned to do this. We are now preparing an invoice for the owner and will have this available very soon,” said the Humane Society in a statement.

Ms. Vargas told Cayman 27 ‘Tati’ is an indoor dog and disputes the conditions described by the Humane Society and the vet.

About the author

Joe Avary

Joe Avary

Joe Avary has been with Cayman 27 since 2014. He brings 20 years in television experience to the job, working hard every day to bring the people of Cayman stories that inform the public and make a difference in the community. Joe hopes his love for the Cayman Islands shines through in his informative and entertaining weather reports. If you have a story idea for Joe or just want to say hello, call him at 324-2141 or send an email to

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