BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) - A lab mix who has been at the Bossier City Animal Shelter ever since his owners were murdered on Mother's Day has now found a new home, and a family full of familiar faces.
The mother of one of the 2 women killed in their Bragg St. home has stepped forward to claim 'Rip,' and Wednesday's reunion was emotional. Joanna Hanson is the one who discovered the bodies of her 24-year-old daughter Jacqueline Beadle and her 26-year-old roommate Karyl Cox back on May 11. Hanson says the dog, known as Trunk to Hanson, was also inside the home that day. He was safe, but traumatized. Police responding to the double-murder called animal control to pick the dog up, and he sat in the shelter for nearly 3 months.
"It is just a lot to take in for one person." After the heartbreaking discovery, she says she let Trunk out of the kennel and lost track of him. Since then she describes life feeling like a heavy fog, focusing on burying her daughter, getting custody of her grandson, and grieving. The dog belonged to Jacqueline's 3-year-old son, Desmond, who has been asking for Trunk ever since. "I really didn't think we would ever see him again, because we didn't know where he was."
Shelter workers named the lab mix 'Rip,' which stands for "Rest in Peace." They are words they say they used to comfort the dog, telling him their owners were in a better place, in the days following the tragedy.
There was an overwhelming response on social media after KSLA News 12 first aired the story on Wednesday of Rip's need for a forever home. Joanna Hanson recognized the dog after seeing him on KSLA News 12's Facebook page and immediately contacted the shelter, who told her she could pick Rip up.
On Thursday afternoon, shelter workers brought Trunk out to the front office of the shelter. As soon as the dog saw Hanson, he reacted with pure excitement.
According to a police spokesman, when a tragedy like this does happen, it is protocol to turn the animal over to a family member. If a family member isn't available, they are supposed to bring the pet to the animal shelter, then tell the family where that animal is. He chaos and confusion of the day may have led to a mix up in communication, but Hanson isn't blaming anyone. "I'm so excited to get him back for my grandson." She she is forever grateful the shelter held on to him, committed to giving him a happy ending.
"Yes you are going home, they took good care of you, yes they did. Yes they did!" she told the dog as he licked her face. The animal control staff, who served as Trunk's family for the past two months, watched with tears in their eyes.
"It's not sad tears, it's happy tears," Assistant Shelter Superintendent Kay Laborde assured Hanson.
After some tearful goodbyes, Trunk headed to his forever home, where he will soon be the comfort to a little boy who has already lost so much.
Shelter workers say they had an overwhelming positive response from the community after Trunk's story first aired. They say they had about a dozen people wanting to adopt the dog.
If you're interested in adopting a pet, adoption hours are from 10- to-3. Monday through Saturday at the Bossier City Animal Shelter. They're located at 3217 Old Shed Road in Bossier City. You can contact them by calling 318-741-8499.
Saturdays are for adoptions only, no surrenders.
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