By Julie Grant

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CLAIRTON (KDKA) — Desperate to get their dog back, a Clairton family is pleading for help. Their dog was picked up after running loose, taken to a kennel and then adopted four days later.

The woman who owns the Gaydos-Behanna Kennel, Robin Gaydos-Behanna, is also an Animal Control Officer. She would only do an off-camera interview with KDKA. She said she gave the family fair warning that the dog would legally become hers in 48 hours if they didn’t pay her kennel fee. The family couldn’t come up with the money in time and now their dog “Karma” is with a new owner.

Karma is a 3-and-a-half year old German Shepherd, raised by Aramis Purdue and his wife, Heather Churchfield. All her life, Karma has lived with them and their children. On Sunday, Karma pushed open a window and got loose.

“She knew perfectly well whose dog it was, 100 percent. Because we’ve had run-ins a time or two before,” Purdue said.

Gaydos-Behanna said she got two calls of a dog running loose and sent one of her kennel volunteers to pick up the dog and bring it to her kennel. She said the dog is legally considered “unlicensed” because it wasn’t wearing the issued blue tag around its neck. Purdue said he brought her the licensing paperwork but couldn’t afford the $150 kennel fee.

“Just heartless and cruel about it, you know? You don’t understand that this is my children’s dog, you know. Our family dog. It’s not just some stray dog running around,” Purdue said.

Gaydos-Behanna said Churchfield told her twice to just keep the dog. Churchfield admits it but said it was because she was upset.

“Call me first and say, ‘We’ve only got so much time left; if you can’t come up with the money, I’m going to have to adopt her out.’ There was no consent from me or nothing. She just up and did it,” Purdue said.

Gaydos-Behanna told KDKA she was upholding the laws as a Humane Officer and could not continue boarding Karma at her kennel. She adopted Karma out to a man on Thanksgiving.

“If I could speak to him and explain the situation, let my kids speak to him. He would probably understand and give the dog back,” Purdue said.

The family isn’t giving up hope. Gaydos-Behanna said she feels bad about the situation but has to draw the line, having been through this same situation with their family twice before with Karma.

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