Puppy abandoned in storage unit finds new family

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Thursday, October 10, 2013 - 9:14pm

Braveheart, a 4 month old puppy, was found abandoned, chained in a storage unit on Youree Drive in Shreveport on September 11. There was no food or water for the dog, and when the storage complex owners found him, they thought he was dead. Braveheart blinked, so they took him to Animal Emergency Clinic on Line Avenue.

There, a vet got him through the night, with help from veterinarian technicians like Ronda Spataro. Braveheart became a part of her family, going to work with her and then sleeping in her bed at night.

Through Facebook, Braveheart's story went viral, catching the eye of Caddo Parish Animal Control. According to director Everett Harris, vet records and pictures of Braveheart weren't enough to prosecute Braveheart's technical owner, they needed Braveheart as well. Wednesday afternoon, Animal Control seized Braveheart, threatening to arrest the Spataros if they didn't take them to the puppy.

A day later, Braveheart was still at the Caddo Parish Animal Shelter, and Animal Control, along with Caddo Parish, called a meeting to let people know why that happened. Harris said legally the puppy must be in their possession for legal action.

Commissioner Matthew Linn stepped in, asking if an exception could be made. Braveheart is still in need of constant veterinary care, and has bonded to vet tech Ronda Spataro. His request was denied.

Then, just a few hours later, his request was granted. Animal Control had located the person who rented the storage unit, and he had relinquished ownership of Braveheart. At 5, Animal Control's public relations person said Braveheart was being picked up by the vet at Animal Emergency Clinic. Then, according to Braveheart's Facebook page, he was moved to the Spatero's house.

An arrest warrant was issued for the renter of the storage unit, but his name has not been released yet.

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