Nursing student adopts missing dog; returns her to owners


Harley could only be with Lindsay Riffle for one day.

Lindsay Riffle woke up to a missed call from Fort Worth Animal Care and Control.

She played the message the caller left. It was an officer from animal control asking her to call him back. She dialed the number with her newly adopted dog, Harley, sitting by her in bed.

The officer said something had come up with the dog she just adopted.

He said Harley’s previous owners were still looking for her. The owners had been contacted by animal control, who told the owners they had found a dog that matched the description of their lost pet.

Riffle, a TCU nursing student, had adopted the white Maltese at PetSmart just a day before during National Adoption Weekend. Turns out, PetSmart was supposed to hold onto the Maltese so that the owners could pick her up.

Since Riffle adopted the dog less than a day after it arrived, PetSmart employees did not know the dog’s actual owners were still looking for her.

The officer asked Lindsay if she would be willing to bring the dog back to the Fort Worth Animal Care and Control Center so her owners could reunite with her.

Riffle, however, was not required to bring the dog back since she had already signed the adoption papers for Harley.

“I actually thought it was a joke at first,” Riffle said. “I couldn’t believe they were asking me to bring her back, but he was very kind about it.”

Right after she hung up the phone, Riffle made the decision to give Harley back.

“It wouldn’t be right to keep someone’s dog from them,” Riffle said. “I knew that if it were my dog, I would want someone to do the same.”

Riffle put Harley in her car and drove to Fort Worth Animal Care and Control that afternoon.

“I just wouldn’t feel right knowing her owners miss her and are looking for her,” Riffle said. “It’s the right thing to do.”

Lindsay said animal control offered her another pet of her choosing at the same price as Harley.

“I chose not to adopt another one yet,” Riffle said. “I decided it would be best for me to give it a little time before I adopted another dog.”