Four month old “Braveheart” makes an emotional return home from Caddo Animal Control Friday afternoon. He was released to his foster parents, Bo and Rhonda Spataro, who have officially adopted him.
"I’m just happy he's home. I could not be happier,” said Rhonda Spataro. “I’m so thankful to the out pouring of people who stood up and gave Braveheart a voice.”
Braveheart was found starving to death in a storage unit off Youree Drive on Sept. 11. The owner of the storage units took Braveheart to an emergency animal hospital, where a veterinarian cared for him
until she found him a foster home at the Spataros. The Spataros gave him around the clock care until Wednesday, when Caddo Animal Control took him away as they investigated who abandoned the dog.
Rhonda Spataro said she faced the tough decision of giving the dog up or being locked up herself for interfering with the investigation.
"The way that he was taken from us. We're still very upset about that," said Rhonda Spataro.
Caddo Parish claims it was both Louisiana law and parish policy that
the dog remained at the animal shelter until the owner could be identified and the proper action taken.
With 10,000 signatures on a change.org petition to the Caddo Parish Administration, a news conference was called Thursday and by Friday, Caddo Parish Attorney Donna Frazier and the Spataro’s attorney Dan Keele worked out a deal so that the owner of the dog turned over his rights to the Spataros, so they could legally adopt him.
“We can’t believe one little guy has so many people that love him,” said Rhonda Spataro.
As for the dog’s condition, the Spataros said it doesn’t look like the dog’s health has suffered too much after spending more than 24 hours in the animal shelter.
Meanwhile, the investigation into his abandonment is ongoing. Gabriel Lee, 31, of Shreveport bonded out of Caddo Correctional Center around 7 p.m. Friday. He’s accused of leaving the dog in the storage unit and has been charged with simple, aggravated cruelty to animals. If convicted, he faces a fine or one to ten years in prison.