Buddygate: Woman refuses to return dog to owners
EAST WENATCHEE, Wash. -- The Biddle family wants their dog Buddy back.
But Roxanne Kendrick of East Wenatchee claims it's her long lost dog Apollo. She's not only refusing to return the dog, but she is demanding people stop contacting her about it.
After someone thought the dog was lost near the Biddle's eight-acre family farm near Leavenworth last month, the dog was taken to the Wenatchee Valley Humane Society, where Kendrick told them it was hers.
Now the shelter is demanding she give the dog back to the Biddles and is serving her with a formal letter.
"For 14 years, he's been a member of our family," said Trudy Biddle, her eyes filled with tear. Their home overlooks a lush valley where Buddy used to play in the stream and chase wildlife. "And we want him back. We simply want him back, to have his remaining years with us."
Does she believe Buddy is wondering what happened to his family? "Absolutely. Without a doubt," she said.
The Biddles have every document a dog owner could have: microchip confirmation, adoption papers, his original purchase receipt, even a Doggie School diploma - and a lifetime of family photos with Buddy in every one of them. He was given the name Buddy in honor of their son's nickname. They can even identify a funny little skin growth on his body.
Kendrick has posted extensively online about her dog Apollo: When the family home burned to the ground during a wildfire near Malaga in July 2013, she believes her dog - who looks like Buddy - escaped and never returned. She's posted lost dog flyers on websites and claimed other similar looking dogs may be hers.
If the dog taken to the shelter was truly hers as she claims, it would have survived more than a year and travelled 40 miles from Malaga, across the city of Wenatchee, and up into the Cascade mountains beyond Leavenworth.
Before slamming the door on a KOMO 4 News crew at her front door of her new home in East Wenatchee, Kendrick said "he's my dog!" while demanding the camera be turned off. She said she wasn't interested in talking about the dog. A dog the size of Buddy could be seen and was barking. She called police.
"I'm hoping that she will see the bigger picture here and what's really right," said Biddle. "That's what I'm really hoping and praying for."
The Biddles are posting their plight online and even have a twitter hashtag #freebuddy.
Biddle says when Buddy became missing, they left three voice messages at the shelter with complete information. When they believed no one had brought Buddy in, they concluded he'd been killed by a cougar seen nearby. They even found bones in a field.
Grief stricken, they kept all of Buddy's stuff - toys, bowls, dog houses, bed pads - just in case they were wrong. The day after they learned that their dog was featured in a Pet of the Week ad from the shelter, Kendrick had already claimed it was hers and took it home.
Biddle warns every dog owner to make sure their contact information is updated in the dog's microchip online page. Their name was correct but it listed an old address and phone number.