When firefighter William Jones got the call to help fight a wildfire, he didn’t hesitate to answer it. He dropped off his dog, Hunter, with a friend and went to work.
Unfortunately, Hunter escaped when Jones was away. Clark County Animal Control in Washington State picked up the dog as a stray and brought him to the Humane Society for Southwest Washington, according to the Hunter the Dog Facebook page set up by HSSW. Hunter apparently had no tags, no license and no microchip.
Because Jones was out fighting a fire — and had no idea Hunter had escaped — he wasn’t able to claim his dog. Once the time period during which the shelter holds onto a dog in hopes that the owner would claim him passed, the facility had Hunter neutered and microchipped and placed him up for adoption. Then a family adopted Hunter, according to the Hunter the Dog Facebook page.
When Jones returned home, he learned his dog had escaped. The firefighter posted a plea on the humane society’s Facebook page that while he was working, fighting the wildfire, his dog escaped. He then learned that his dog was adopted while he was away.
The family who adopted Hunter initially didn’t want to return the dog because they had already bonded with him. In the six days that they cared for Hunter, they apparently spent $1,000 in veterinarian bills due to digestive issues the dog was experiencing, and also purchased an invisible fence system to prevent him from escaping. (He had escaped once while under his new owner’s care.)
There was some backlash on the HSSW’s Facebook page (that has since been removed) questioning why the society adopted the dog out, and after some discussion with the family, the family agreed to return Hunter to the humane society. Hunter will remain there until Jones returns from another fire he is fighting.