Max, where are you? Here, boy.
Responding to a public outcry over its announcement last week that the pit bull was missing from its shelter, ACCT Philly is offering $2,500 for information “leading to the confirmation of the safety” of Max. The dog was gone from the North Philadelphia kennel on Dec. 3.
“Someone took the dog, and we want to know why,” ACCT spokesperson Blake Martin said. “I’d like to think that it’s not nefarious.”
Some fear that Max could be used for fighting or breeding.
ACCT Philly first posted news of the missing Max, a gray mixed pit bull with brindle markings, on Thursday after confirming that he wasn’t adopted or accidentally euthanized. The shelter also checked the digital cameras but found no evidence of the animal’s disappearance.
Public response to the news was swift, with 350 Facebook shares as of Sunday eliciting dozens of comments.
Said one: “This is really sad. And something seems totally off. There has to be so many changes made. How can you just lose a dog and no one notice!?!”
Said another: “There’s something very sketchy about this. There should be an investigation in this shelter.”
An ACCT Philly defender observed: “Wow. It would have been so easy to just cover this up and move on. Bravo ACCT Philly for putting the well-being of Max first and going public, knowing the onslaught of criticism would be nearly unbearable.”
Martin said it was highly unusual for an animal to vanish from ACCT Philly, which annually handles about 15,000 dogs, cats, and other species, including, recently, a 2-foot alligator.
Max’s owner surrendered the friendly pit to the shelter in early November. A new owner adopted him on the last day of November. But Max was returned to the shelter within 24 hours on Dec. 1 when he relieved himself on his new owner’s floor. He was last seen on Dec. 2.
Max has a slightly puffy face from a prior injury and a wobble in his walk.
“We are all concerned about Max and just want to make sure that he’s safe,” Aurora Velazquez, ACCT Philly’s executive director, said in a statement. "We are of course also reviewing our protocols to make sure this doesn’t ever happen again, and will be looking to upgrade our camera system, but the priority right now is finding Max.”
Anyone with information may email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 267-385-3800, Ext. 600, between 8 a.m. and midnight. Callers should press 1 outside of those hours.