FORT BENNING, Ga.- Spot has been a part of the Lechner family for around a year now. The dog’s future became uncertain after his owner found out he would deploy next year. “He’s really important to our family, but we made the mistake of surrendering him because I got nervous about the whole army sending me to Korea thing,” said Blake Lechner.
So Blake and Ashley Lechner decided to take Spot to the Tri-County Animal Rescue at Fort Benning. After they had a change of heart, the shelter said Spot needed to stay with them. Now, the family has hired lawyers to help in their fight to get him back.
We spoke to the rescue’s manager, Thomas Hoffman. He said Blake never mentioned deployment when he brought Spot in to give him up. Hoffman says the Lechner’s cited reasons like Spot not getting along with their other dog and not being leash-trained.
During the shelter’s 12-hour “grace period,” to reclaim their dog, the Lechner’s claim they had a hard time contacting Tri-County Animal Rescue. “There’s two sides to every story, but we admit we made a mistake..but we want to fix that and we tried to get back to them but it wasn’t very possible,” said Ashley Lechner.
The rescue denies that, saying they didn’t have any missed calls from the Lechners.
When the rescue posted Spot’s information on their Facebook page, it was shared hundreds of times, and drew criticism of both the Lechner’s and the shelter. The shelter says they received threats and have since deleted their Facebook page.
Meanwhile, the Lechner’s are hanging onto hope and not giving up their fight for Spot. Ashley said, “This has been a really rough past couple of days and I’m just ready for him to come home to his warm house and his bed.”
The shelter says as of now, the Lechner’s are not getting their dog back. Spot will be at the shelter at least another 2-3 weeks before possibly being adopted out. The shelter says they are bringing in an outside assessment tester to conduct a temperament test on Spot.